Woodsmoke and sunshine
As the clear-up continues of trees felled by the winter storms, the policies around the castle are dotted with bonfires. At dusk, the fires glimmer under the trees, sparks dancing up between branches. (It has been so wet for so long that we don’t need to worry about the sparks setting anything alight.)
Day and night, the air is scented with woodsmoke, and we return from walks with the bonfire smell on our hair and clothes. This being one of my favourite smells, I see it as some consolation for all the lost trees. And when the low winter sun shines through branches, twining the smoke in its beams, it creates a half-land of magical, mysterious beauty. The boys step across the barriers of smoke almost fearfully, instinctively conscious of crossing a threshold into the unknown. Each of us finds ourselves thinking of faerie-land, the golden halls of the sídh, into which a mortal may not trespass with impunity. Then the boys run back, laughing with relief, still here: all this otherworldly radiance is just smoke and sunshine.