Galbanum and Mellifluence
On entry to the wood, air brim full with musky aromas of bared brown earth, bark and banked moss rise with the warming sun. Smaller notes defined our summer, in the fresh clean smell of fern uncurling and those glorious accounts of opened leaf’s galbanum, and bluebell’s, now passed their best before date. From somewhere only winds divine, comes gorse and furze fume, with twisting tones of almond and vanilla. All variety of tree adorn the path, waxy holly, ancient oak, chestnut, beech, birch and other, each bringing to the grand parade its own inimitable qualities. It’s a veritable catwalk at high season, and the sounds in here?
Rushing water, crashing and spilling in its course down their falls, orchestrate the foregrounds small melodies into near-by shallow pools, and from uphill the gathering crescendos of higher falls down terraced and more rugged drops, not visible yet.
At some point the right bank widens out into less accessible wood. Strewn with undergrowth, long grass, bramble thickets and dead wood from perished trees, the area is wetter. It’s obvious that trekkies make a short detour in, from time to time as the unmistakable smell of ammonia lingers near the trees. Musty undertones too, something acrid like that of stale flour, mixed with the fresher crushed grass, odd docks and sorrels. In the few small clearings are the remnants of spent campfires, wet ash and kindling. In the darker areas, pure white flowers of wild garlic stand out like button holes on a dark lapel.
And the air, what is it about the high sweet air in such places. There are a couple of small plateaus on the way up Glen, that act as viewing points for Newcastle and reason enough to catch ones breath, and it prompts the question, what do we breathe day in day out by comparison to this, (oh you will love this one,) ‘mellifluence’. (Got it in the dictionary)