We push up into the hill along the curved track. Welcome it. Put our backs into the last fifty yards. Leaning forward, top out among skyline beeches which you say are like the whole of your childhood. I laugh & say: Was that before the war ? Now the wind’s in our faces, the plantation like a black wave on our right. Look! Look! Deer. Crows. The sky in water! Figures on horses in the distance. Everything in the snow black or white, it’s just like a world. It’s just like a real place. Along the track in masted ruts for a minute, then two, then a mile. You accept each rise, looking not for the top but for what’s hard while I’m content to trudge the bracken past dog walkers’ gilets & damp jackets. Then it’s turn & go down, face London spread out like an old box of accessories on a remembered carpet. Back home I think: It’s what we’ve got. It’s an adventure. Woods & slopes were the whole of my childhood too.
Dreams of running again. Or at least some kind of flying & swooping.