Through the cottage window, you can see the trees, and the leaves from those trees coat the ground, and a long rowing boat lies face down on those leaves. That is all that is seen.
The winter sun breaks through from about 8am onwards. By half 2, it retreats.
Walking through the woods at lunchtime, afternoon, dawn. The dogs come, they live on this island; no leads. At the water’s edge Max, the Jack Russell, flits like a wren between the tree roots reaching out over the shoreline. He bolts across the path, disappearing for stretches of time only to be discovered in the distance, a bright brown and white guardian between distant trees, checking that his visitors don’t get lost.
Venturing deeper. The cottage cannot be seen from here, and wouldn’t be able to be picked out from the weak winter sky anyway. Panic trickles into the chest; branches on the ground that should be firm give way under the boot; the ground becomes soft.
A tree that could be named three years ago stands where it has always stood, impassive, indifferent. What could possibly be a Jay screaming up in the thin treetops could be something else and so passes without the visitor knowing what it is. Panic gives way to sorrow: this walk is not restorative. Much has been abandoned.
Tree roots are stumbled over. A boot becomes lodged in the bog and the foot escapes from it. Falling, the eye level plummets to the carpet of leaves.
Leaves that presumably were once green and attached to branches during Spring and Summer, before turning brown and falling to the ground.
Yes, much has been abandoned before this point.
The dogs know the way. Eventually, we begin to follow them.