This is how it was this morning.
The hills around us were covered in mist . . . Pule Hill, Deer Hill, Huck Hill. The mist is drawing a horizontal line across them at 1500 feet.
Directly above me there are tiny pale blue patches tearing eastward towards where the sun would be, and there, low over Deer Hill is a lightening sky, promising a brighter day.
It is the perfect kind of day to walk with the dog, and rummage for the tiny signs of the autumn. The morning bejewelled cobwebs, the hazelnut husks, the beechmast, the yellow and gold flashes in the hedgerows.
And now I can. The world has hemmed me in, and now the world is starting to suck me back out.
It is wonderful and exciting.
I now have a mobility scooter that is revolutionising my day. In a sense, the revolution is revisionist, but I don’t care. Ruby and I are going for walks again. Every day, rain or shine, wind or Indian summer heat.
We start on the road, listening for the occasional car, then plunge off into the nature reserve, with its wheelchair-friendly path, its river, and its little wooden bridge. The river is the same river as our river in the woods, but this is higher up, on the edge of the moor, so it is shallower and runs faster, and Ruby swims in it and gets filthy.
Or we go down the hill to the church, and wander around the graveyard, where I can sit and watch the lime trees sway in the wind.
The graveyard is where we went yesterday . . . a day of blue sky and low, warm sun.
I can go almost anywhere I want now, but I still can’t manage the terrain of my beloved woods; but this new mobility has lifted the clouds from my confined and disabled body enough for me to fight back to full mobility, if it is at all possible, so I will be able to visit my woods again . . . the muddy path, the pinfold, the secret garden, the old badger sett, the overgrown railway siding, the massive stone wall above the river.
It might take a long time to get there. I have to be realistic . . . I might never get there, but I’m very determined. A neighbour said to me the other day, “You’re a wilful man, Steve.” In Yorkshire, wilfull is a compliment.