Lark Springing

I felt swollen with joy, buoyed. My legs nagged sore from lack of use and breath wheezed and dragged on my lungs, but I’d stopped noticing, I was outside myself. I turned slowly on the spot, the scenery much the same as the last 100 yards, and the 200 before that, yet different every step. Fresh growth on verge of bursting forth, each twig and unfurling leaf a name, a folklore, an identity. I looked back down the path and across the fields side by side, the trees hadn’t moved, the rise of the hill rolled that way it had when I first arrived, the flints beneath my feet didn’t shift. But there was a movement here, a murmur, something unseen, intangible, acknowledged but unspoken. Gradually, like the sun breaking over furrows at dawn I tuned in and listened and heard them properly for the first time: Skylark. First skylark song of the year. A few brief words, one small thought, but Oh! What joy! Wide-eyed I raked the sky, scouring the clouds; they had to be there. I could feel the washed light burning my screen-aching retinas; sight stretched by distance and far away focus. Then there! High above the horizon, in the centre of the sky, a dust mote, a flickering speck. The larks wings trembled with the effort to stay aloft, cushioned by sweet tumbling notes. So high, so far, landscape de-saturated and blurred, I could see only the lark, as though the world had switched suddenly into hi-definition. To the right another lark, rising higher still, these two pure sparks of life locked in song battle. Soaring in exaltation, they could’ve been angels to me.

Landscape view of of chalk track curving past a large oak tree with no leaves on, a flint farmhouse in the distance, clouded sky.

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