Nature's lantern


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Every day I walked the Lade Braes path to school. The tall oaks lining the path sheltered me from the rain and the gentle flow of the Kinness Burn washed away my worries. The river, the song of the blackbirds and the calls of red squirrels transported me away from the trivial worries of studying and grounded me in this sliver of nature.
I always walked slowly along Lade Braes, savouring my time amongst the trees, searching for anything new to discover. In the autumn, I watched the bright green leaves grow dull in the fading light. Then day by day, new colours appeared, reds and yellows dotted the trees creating a show of colour. Every day the colours would change and every day I would smile at the trees. I collected leaves as they dropped, until the rains of winter turned them to mush.
As winter settled in, I felt the shiver of the North Sea breeze and admired the shimmer of the frosted fields. The frost came and went with the sun but the rest of the path became quiet and grey. The birds became silent, the squirrels were sheltering and the sometimes it felt like the ground, trees and sky were moulded together into never ending darkness. The stagnation of life in Lade Braes felt as if it was there to stay, as if the path was always and would always stay grey and quiet.
In the coldest days, where winter had taken its hold on me, I would stop searching for the new wonders of nature. There were few to be found. However, they would always find me.
Vibrant green stems appeared out of the frozen soil, captivating me. Their bold green a welcome contrast to the grey. They were snowdrops, lanterns in the darkness of winter, and they were all my eyes could see. I tried to admire all of them, but the landscape quickly distracted me with new colours.
A succession of flowers brought me into spring starting with the snowdrops, then the delicate crocuses. Then the daffodils came, bringing the longer days and the warmth of the sun. Buds formed on trees and the blossoms stole my attention. I was invited by their intoxicating scent to bury my face into the soft sweet flowers and I would feel my body release into calm as the bee’s vibrations hovered around me.
The river was also a sight in the spring. The newly hatched ducklings swam downriver with ease and waddled onto the banks. As summer rolled in, as it always did – faster than expected- everything became green. The cow parsley appeared out of nowhere as landing pads for hoverflies and butterflies. Dogs would fly past me trampling through the flowers without a care in the world and I would walk by the wild garlic and chew on the pretty white flowers, basking in the short glory of the Scottish summer, forgetting the long winters.
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