The sky over the park is framed by naked trees standing stark to attention, upturned, as if a black network of nerves has taken root against the dull skies. In the distance, the accordion man has stopped playing Christmas tunes in his merry discordance to take lunch.
I sit on a bench just to listen, to drown out the sound of my internal, eternal, monologue; to listen to the world beyond my own.
Birdsong. The chattering magpie, the pretty tit twitter, and the high honk of the water hen, swimming in arrowheads, the lake frilled to an angle-point in their wake. The goose-gobble, mocking in its wrenching, throaty laughter, and the hoarse, hushed flute of a pigeon's beating wings against its bulk as it flops onto the fall; leaves rotting on the damp earth underclaw, as black crows caw with each waddle and bounce, their proud chests puffed.
A child's cry calls and lingers on the wind in its exclamation; an indignant expansive echo. The blows of beating footsteps hit the path, building as they're brought closer: left, right, left, right, tick tock, time is upon you, tick tock, left, right, they weary on and away.
The wide yawn of a plane on the flight path overhead draws a gasp through sounds and skies, like a bomb falling to earth, swooping in singing waves before howling its final haunt into the distant, rumbling traffic and diminishing to its destination.
Dogs of all shapes and sizes - sprightly, rotund, long or stiff - sniff and sprint on the fringe of intimate female conversation that weaves warmly by.
The wind collects in conspiracy, brushing my hands, my hair, my cheeks, and binds my galaxy of thoughts in all their timelessness to the present. The accordion man plays once more, his bellows book ending this narrative with a long sigh.