The rain was relentless, coming down in sheets across the sombre Welsh hillsides, soaking the landscape and everything upon it. I’d just walked for hours on the deserted gale-blown mountaintops, alone but strangely happy in my solitude. The river in the valley was swollen, fed by the downpour but tumbled excitedly towards the sea beyond.
The steadfast skeletal trees transfixed me. Their bare branches were almost still in the breeze and their water-drop laden twigs stretched out like a delta. These skeletal figures were in a sort of suspended animation, hidden life pulsing through the outstretched limbs but waiting to burst out in the spring, months from now.
I didn’t really want to leave but my waterproofs were now beginning to fail after almost four hours of penetrating bad weather. I could hear the rain on my jacket hood and tiny beads of water now ran down my skin. It seemed that if I moved I’d ruin the silent connection between me and the trees, but I did, and it didn’t.