Brave New Year

It’s wild out there. Winds touched 70mph again overnight and this is Cambridgeshire. But there’s an even wilder world out there, just travel north a bit and that doesn’t just mean Scotland. A bit further than that, south and very far north of the Arctic circle where the polar bears nestle in their ice caves and beneath the ice the salmon feed in the abundant waters of the north Atlantic.  Ocean tides swirl around the granite outcrops of the Faroes, Greenland, the Barents Sea. That’s where the salmon feed, the ones that didn’t return to their rivers of birth this time. And those that did? Many hold station still under the river ice, some perhaps yet to spawn, their genes passed on in a mound of eggs in the gravel amid turbulent winter currents.

Some of these in turn even were caught by rods. And returned and went on to spawn. Now there’s a thought.

And in the world of men – as Tolkein put it – we go about our business complaining if a wheelie bin gets knocked over by the January storms. But of course it has been much worse than that with human life itself put at risk and indeed with lives lost to the full force of the gale.

Yes it’s wild out there and it does make you feel alive: Happy New Year … Brave New Year.


About henrygiles

Born to fish forced to work and fish
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2 Responses to Brave New Year

  1. But in Nature, as in all things, there is a balance. The winds die down, the wintry sun peeks through and my elder daughter Wendy is home from New Zealand for a whole month. We go for a morning walk around the village of Kirkby Underwood in Lincolnshire, sploshing across fields and then through a wood and out the other side on to a broad, rolling meadow with a footpath clearly visible across it, a Yellow Brick Road for the adventurous. I have told her there is a herd of fallow deer to be seen, including a white buck. We do not spot it travelling through the wood but then, on the road back to the car, Wendy notices a group of deer a mile across the open fields separating Callans Wood from Temple Wood – and as we look, a group of three more deer joins them, headed by a deer of blinding whiteness. A buzzard circles overhead, we see a red kite gliding over the distant wood and then, strangest of all, we hear the sound of horses’ hooves on a hard surface. We wait on the verge but nothing comes past – there is no way horses and riders could have turned off the route we have just traversed. Then we spy an information map for walkers and discover that a Roman road once cut across the fields where the deer are grazing. A feeling of connection and just a slight chill as we realise, truly, that there are more things in Heaven and Earth…but, more importantly, the bond between a father and a daughter crosses oceans to the far ends of the planet. Thank you, whoever or whatever, for an amazing day.

  2. henrygiles says:

    Thanks Nick – that’s good! Really enjoyed it. And another link in the ancient Web is Wendy’s New Zealand where they shot the Lord of the Rings trilogy of films and Tolkien ref in my post (albeit misspelt as Tolkein but that’s what 20 years in chip wrappings and magazines does for you).
    Perhaps those horses’ hooves were indeed the Romans or, perhaps even more mysteriously the Dark Age echoes of Anglo-Saxon or even Viking travellers – one would hope on peaceful business to match the winter serenity of the mood – HNY!

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