The Light (III)
By Simon Barget
In the coolness of showers the light is less pressing, the leaves not just leaves, the green far more than just green. In the light, the green is a cover; but it is much more than what you look out on; it is part of the mind, saying what has already been set. The green is the nettles, the lamb’s quarters, the clover, the smooth stalks of meadow grass, the knotweed and Jimson weed, the dotted-in cowslip and the low-hanging branches, all dividing the path from the outcrop, a salutary hat-tip to your natural state. The green can be alarming and blinding but also very much darkness, presaging rooting and gloop and the inherent kernel of dreams. In the cool light of the showers, the leaves flicker more in anticipation of the currents than in response to the flow. Then the dappled light from the shadow, the shocks from on to off/off to on beneath a discrete cover of oak. Above and beyond this is the light. In the coolness of showers, the sun might suddenly take over, but the stench of the moistness is insistent, slowly consumed and removed, reaffirming the stress on water and wind, on cloudburst and shade. We wish to be saved from this wind or we need to be scattered. The wind a dichotomy we insist on creating, behind the ever-present light.
Then the sounds which arise not a moment behind it. The sudden scrunching of shoe soles on cart path; sounds uninvited, somewhat unforeseen. Always all the long slender meadow-grass reaching out towards us, stricken by wind, flailing and helpless, lurching out to be saved. But always open, laid upwards, always alert. You may imagine that the light of London is something sedate compared to the light of the tropics, but it is only a trick of the skyscape and the light has already passed over from one side. All the way across the Pacific above the pristine tips of the ranges, illuminating deserts, passing through florets of rain-forest, from a sky-high bird’s-eye view, all-pervasive, always glistening in sun.