It was a day for old friends. I met up with a former colleague outside the office where we had worked together for many years and, it being a glorious spring day, we revisited our old lunchtime stroll. Past the lake and through the hedge so that we might walk up the path that follows the side of the field. We paused and leaned over the fence.
This was the spot where for nearly two years, on an almost daily basis, I took the same photograph. I would lean my camera against the fence-post, ensuring that I repeated the view again and again. I took something between 250 and 300 pictures. And, of course, no two photographs were the same.
The field, the hedge, the fence itself and, most of all, the sky showed such an extraordinary range of texture and colours, constantly in flux and changing according to the light, the weather and the seasons, that I was (and still am) quite thrilled by the results. Clear blue skies, stormy cloud or a thick fog, a lush green hedgerow or bare winter branches – the variety was astonishing.
I had one rule, which was to limit myself to one photo a day. Only once did I break that rule, but who in all honesty can resist the lure of the combine harvester.
Very rarely do people appear in the photos – sometimes the handle of my bike would appear. But the biggest excitement, without any question at all, was the day two star crossed lovers appeared, smooth shells huddled together on my fence. They moved on after a few days, slowly, one would assume, but the memory of their tryst will forever remain.
2 thoughts on “A Field for All Seasons”
I read this by Henry Vaughan a couple of weeks ago, and it made me think of precisely this spot, Cycled it with the kids, walked it one lunchtime from work, past an abandoned ofo (or ‘mofo’ as my former hairdresser used to call them) bike. This is just the first stanza; the rest continues for a page or two, and ends in ‘mourn’. So this is defo the best bit, the sweet spot:
‘I Walkt The Other Day’
I walkt the other day (to spend my hour)
Into a field
Where I sometimes had seen the soil to yield
A gallant flowre
But Winter now had ruffled all the bowre
And curious store
I knew there heretofore.’
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