The transition from the long days of summer to the abbreviated days of autumn (and winter) is always a tough one, right? I miss our evening walks more than I can explain. They were the grounding part of my day, and also the uplifting part. Our time to get outside, to drive down the coast and walk below big skies. To watch the lads run and sniff. To exhale out the day and those tight hours spent at a desk. To let our eyes soak in wide vistas after too many hours at a screen.
And now we’re all back to dark afternoons and the long nights of winter, because while the calendar tells us that it’s autumn, the darkness feels like winter. So we’ve swapped evening for early morning walks, but, unfortunately, that only means two mornings a week when Richard’s work and the weather allows. Still, it feels so good to be here, with the crisp and cool air of morning, and with the low, early light over the landscape.
We approached winter with the same plan last year: early morning walks here at John Muir Country Park, and I was excited to photograph this woodland in different light. And then Storm Arwen hit. We didn’t do morning walks here after Arwen. It all felt too heavy and raw in those early weeks, particularly as there was only one route round the outside of the wood at that time, with no place to ‘soften’ the effect of the devastation.
But this winter, as we approach the first anniversary of Arwen, and having walked here every week since, I’m really looking forward to capturing the morning light over this place. It’s not that you forget what it once was, or even that we’ve made peace with what it is now. It’s simply that being here is always better than not being here. That has never changed.
John Muir Country Park, East Lothian, November 2022.