Most days I take my daily stroll on the same route around the village.
I see the same fields every day;
The same lanes and roads;
The same houses;
Sometimes even the same people walking the same way as me every day.
I know which trees the squirrels prefer and see them leaping from branch to branch.
I know where the snowdrops will appear in the ditches.
I know which part of the hedgerow the pigeons will burst out from as I pass by.
I know the territories of the robins as I hear them singing their song.
I know where animals make their nests in the bole of a tree.
All this is catalogued in my brain.
This is the advantage of walking the same route every day in every season.
You look more closely, observe and remember.
But, just as everything is the same, there are also differences.
A tree succumbs to the strong winds, the top snaps and crashes to the ground.
The trunk rent asunder.
Branches and debris scattered across the road.
Raw scars where limbs have been ripped off.
Ivy still clinging to the trunk.
Old birds nests flung into the fields.
And in the midst of the gale above the whining of the wind I hear a different song.
A Mistle* Thrush.
It's voice loud and clear.
A clarion call, so distinctive and melodic.
I stopped and stood still in the lane, buffeted by the gusts; scarf flapping; hair wild and wind blown.
Entranced by the sheer beauty of the thrush song.
High in the tree tops.
A silhouette against the blue of the sky and the scudding clouds.
Enthralled, almost forgetting we were in the middle of a windstorm.
The Mistle Thrush, or Storm Cock, who loves wild, windy weather.
Who sings in celebration.
*So called because of their fondness of Mistletoe berries.