It began when I traced time in the condensation gathered on the windowsill. 

The turn. The season slips gently from late summer to early autumn. The tree leaves shift colour from their starchy, chlorophyll to yellows, gold-flecks, tannins, dip-dyed red; carotenoids, anthocyanins.

panorama from Royd Road

My working day usually starts with a “commute”: a circular walk from the house taking in Royd Lane, up a slight hill, down a steeper hill, then back up a moderately steep hill again, then home (this route order changes; to mix it up a bit, you can do it counterclockwise!). I’m a fair-weather commuter, travelling when the mood takes me.

I’ve felt fatigued since lockdown started, I think it’s down to stress and worry mainly. Anxiety is never far away. I’ve been feeling a little worse this week so thought I’d best get checked out. I am fine, of course, the worry chips away at me, though. I worried this morning whether it was hypochondriac to be hypochondriac.

These daft circular worries, constantly rippling out, the repeated weary sensation of what now? Feeling angry and dismayed about the country that I live in. Being part of the world and yet not feeling like I’m of it; feeling like I am unable to effect any significant change. Watching the unfolding horrors of the climate crisis – wildfire, soil erosion, water stress – observing biodiversity collapse in motion. Where are the oak galls? Where are the small tortoiseshells that we had an abundance of last year?

Shifting colours, becoming something else, wondering what comes next.