Finding my New ‘Patch’

Exploring new territory on the Somerset levels…

This morning the sun lit up the levels and the day hummed with potential. Then reality hit as I switched on the news and the US election results swung back and forth like a pendulum of doom. We are also on the verge of national lockdown 2 in the UK, marketed like the badly planned sequel that should never have happened. My early morning sun was blighted, submerged by world events that spun out of my control. I concentrated on my work and typed the last word at 3pm. I needed to get out and savour what was left of the day.

Catcott Nature Reserve is a couple of miles from home and at this point the sun had started its descent behind the higher edges of land. Three mute swans greeted me at the entrance, chattering as they fed. A path led me to a hide and as the sun grazed the horizon, the view from inside the empty hut was rosy tinged, calm and soothing. Posters of birds adorned the wooden walls. I flipped through the tattered silver logbook, gazing at entries, names of birds I didn’t know, comments from strangers who had shared this space on sunnier days, during happier times. More swans and egrets. Next time I will bring sandwiches and tea and savour the solitude make notes and learn.

The hedgerows on the way home were full of berries, vivid splashes of scarlet and dark blue-black orbs, none of which I could identify. I have time. Autumn is here and in full flow and I intend to make the most of this isolation and if I can’t meet my neighbours, I can at least get to know my neighbourhood. My new patch.

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