The air was mild, still and damp. Midges danced and drifted; moths flapped and flitted; bats plunged and pirouetted; a mixed sky of greys, blues and pinks sailed lazily northward, dropping the occasional few raindrops on a grateful earth. The view across the river valley to Staffordshire’s ‘top country’ beyond was comfortably hazy, and the only sound was the cooing of a wood pigeon in a nearby tree.
Such a mixture makes a most seductive cocktail, and there was one more ingredient to turn the material into the magical: the mind’s capacity to perceive the abstract which transcends the particular.
I felt something similar when I was a boy walking along a familiar street in an industrial city on a cold autumnal night, huddled against the stinging sooty mist, smelling the carbon fragments which mingled with the wholesome aroma drifting from a nearby fish and chip shop. Different scenario, same sense of seduction. Different detail, same magic.
And that was what I meant in a recent post when I referred ‘to the unique atmosphere which touches every place at different times.’ Oftentimes it’s bland, but sometimes it’s compelling. It can be light or dark, sharp or dull, uplifting or depressing; but it’s always there to feed the hunger for abstract perception. And I suspect it’s the easiest way to hear the hum of what lies beyond a world ruled and impoverished by juvenile souls.