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Fading Light

Saturday, 20th December 2003
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

gloomy dayThe frost has melted and for most of the day we have rain. It's so gloomy that everything looks worn, wet and tawdry. The river is as dour and slickly lustrous as gun-metal, stippled by litter in the shallows.
Christmas treeEven when I see the luxuriant Christmas tree which has been set up on the roadside verge what strikes me is how its lights are draped around the top: while it celebrates the magic of the winter solstice (I think of the tree as representing the pagan side of Christmas) it's also a statement about the routine nature of vandalism: lights around the bottom of the tree wouldn't last long.

The generous, creative, renewing spirit of Christmas - of the winter solstice - is, potentially, within all of us but that relentlessly destructive urge is never far away either, always seeking to destroy what others might take pleasure in or find useful (the bus shelter has just been repaired from an attack a few weeks ago). next page

Richard Bell

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