The lake was silent and still. Beyond it there were verdant peaks some of which were obscured by a gentle mist. It was early morning and the breeze contained a distinct chill. An hour before the grass and low lying leaves of a variety of plants had been encased in a protective frost, causing them to crunch noisily beneath my feet. I stepped onto the banking and scrutinised the black abyss below but not even my reflection peered back. Instead I fixed my eye on the treeline across the water and noticed a deer opposite me. It felt like we were the only two living beasts on the planet just then, such was the peaceful aura of the place.
I followed the deer with my gaze as it made its way along the lake, then perhaps hearing a noise I was not astute enough to catch, it darted back into the woods. The sun illuminated the grassy knoll where the it had been ambling only a moment before and I looked up to watch the hazy clouds disperse and give way to pale blue skies. I perched on the bank, damp with melting dew, and considered my surroundings.
The valley had always been a place of contemtplation for me, hidden as it was between the hills of the country park close to where I lived. Unless it snowed the vista was constantly green, the shade and intensity of such natural tones changing with the seasons: jade, olive, emerald and bright bottle green were among the variety I spied today and I smiled in admiration of Mother Nature’s palette.
The mist had lifted now and I could see the rising peaks, ever growing with distance. The thicket of trees advanced across the valley but could only encroach so far up the hills, eventually petering out and being replaced with tough, wiry heather: it wouldn’t be too long before the landscape would be dotted with purple to complement the green of the grass and blue of the sky.