I step out the back door and the chill envelops my being and yet I don't mind at all because I am here with my usual quest and that is to spy a shooting star. It is nice that I have a full glass of Chianti to sip and a favourite shawl, the colour of sage, I purchased at a sale in Santa Monica many years prior.
I look upward and stare for what seems like an age and nothing happens at all and the stars are as stubborn as the zits on my teenage sons' chin and as brilliant as I've ever seen them. I will the stars to move for me but no they just shine brightly and some are brighter than others. Out here away from the lights of the city I am richer for night sky viewing and still I feel disappointed - again. I look for the omen that is a shooting star. No such luck.
I go to bed. I wake up the next morning and after doing some chores I suggest to someone who has come back to me that we go for a walk. We wrap up in hats and scarves. It is sunny but I know that once we turn back from our trek the East wind will tear the heat from our faces and we will be glad of the extra layers. We walk mostly in silence stopping now and then to allow the dogs to sniff the hedgerows. The sun on the bay to the south is like a silver cloud, two horses raise their heads in a curious fashion and then return to their pursuit of rich grass and for a moment the sun is almost warm and I comment that it feels like Spring even though I know there is a bit to go yet.
At the start to the lane - after the agitated barking dog who never gets to go on a walk I encounter the most beautiful sound that is a beech hedge rustling in the wind. My companion who has come back to me says that the sound is almost comforting, it's like coming home he says. I respond by saying that it is whispering to us. It swooshes down the path where years ago I pushed a stroller with that same returned soul in front of me, over the tufts of green that ran down the lane, past the chickens that belonged to the farmer, long dead now and the beautiful stone sheds all built by hand now bereft of life and energy and down through the furrows of time we walked. And his comment, the comfort comment hung onto me like a warm blanket and I thought yes, this is why you came home to me so that we could walk together and traverse old paths and find what we learned from them and move on from there. It was like a message. Like a shooting star. Like it was meant to be. Like we were always supposed to return here and the wind on the way back was biting and by the time we got home we were frozen but it was all worth it. Just another moment but somehow unforgettable, for me at least. Rustling beech leaves in January sound like a symphony of sorts but you would have to hear it to understand. Swish, hush, rustle and dream.