enter this landscape this way
Slow runs in Spanish heat. Campolivar: a patch of waste ground which used to be farmland before the urbanisations & gated communities arrived. Scrub, bleached wiry grass, little hills. Paths cut into the dusty soil, littered with stones and broken rock. It looks as if motorcycles have been over it. Valencia: take the drained riverbed through the city in the middle of the day, your body parting the heat trapped by the embankments, trying to stay under the shade trees. The air gelid with light, the paths tramped down hard. Evening in the Serra near Barraix: cooler but still warm. The car park is deserted and though the hill roads teem with cyclists, no one seems to run or walk up here at this time of day. A steep short slope to start with, on ground broken by decades of walkers. Up to S’s usual picnic spot, then down a shattered hill to a strange, shuttered barn or cottage. Then shallow dips and rises to the lookout point, which S calls “the Pier”. We move easily in the warmth, a little out of breath to begin with, then steady. I always wanted to enter this landscape this way. Thick smells of some herb or shrub neither of us knows the name of. Then late sunlight falling between trees into the tall dessicated grasses–the illusion of an even more beautiful world.