November, November. Something odd happens to the light at this time of year; the low rising sun in Scotland makes dawn and dusk particularly eerie times. It changes perceptions. Colours deepen; the sun, so bright on the horizon, blinds the eyes and casts darker shadows.
November is an important month for me. My first born came into the world on 11th day, twenty-five years ago. I remember sitting on my hospital bed, watching the brilliant sunshine illuminate stark window pane shaped rectangles on the ward wall. Intense as search lights, with no hiding place.
This is a time of reflection, a time of taking stock. Yesterday, walking out early with Theo in the first light, I encountered what I assume was a crow when it collided with the back of my head as I climbed up the cliff slope of the golf course. Stunned by this event, I was more surprised that the bird made no sound at all, before or after. It simply flew on.
Then this morning, on the narrow metalled road that slopes up to a small car park on a vantage point beside the beach, I encountered a hare. At first, the dazzling sunshine lighting up its cream and gold fur, I thought it was a dog. But then I saw a black labrador in pursuit. The hare turned and sideways on I realised what I was seeing. It saw me and hesitated, turned away and climbed the steep grassy cliff face at the side of the road. The lab pursued. Both darted here and there among the gorse and rocky outcrops until the hare got the better of the terrain and reached the summit. Within an instant the hare was gone, the dog still bouncing bewildered among the foliage.
This afternoon a magpie tapped on my living room window. Wildlife seems to be getting in my face at the moment, don't you think?