I sit in a bare patch in my garden, covered in dirt, the scent of soil thick in the air. A drizzle covers everything in a fine veil. Wearing nothing but a thin waterproof coat and gumboots, I hold the notebook open in my lap, my fingertips drumming on the empty page.
I can’t stop shivering.
There’s no warmth in this grey autumn light. The air is so cold it hurts my chest as I breathe, but I can’t go back inside.
The leaves have faded from their garish crimson into a brown as bleak as the naked trees and empty gardens. I take another breath of the chilling autumn air. Slowly, like the stirring of seedlings under sunlight, words begin to form which I rush to write down in my notebook.
My pen scratches hastily across the paper.
I’m afraid to stop because I know the moment I do it will happen again, just as it had yesterday, and the day before. For weeks now I haven’t been able to pin anything down onto paper. Ideas flit about too swiftly, making them elusive and impossible to touch.
My handwriting is messy now.
It’s already too hard to read as I approach the bottom of the page. Just a little further and I’ll have captured it. Maybe if I slam the notebook shut in time it will break the cycle.
And then it happens.
The words grow more and more illegible before my eyes. It’s like trying to read in a dream; the letters all look familiar but I can’t make out the words they’re meant to form. Letters start to slip. They slide across the page, from left to right, until the words are overlapping one another.
They bunch and crease in frustration.
Suddenly a gust of wind breathes through the mist to sweep the writing from the page. The spindly words fly off, carried away by the elements. They remind me of the filaments tearing away from a cobweb long abandoned by its creator.
The page lies blank before me once again. No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to fill those pages. The words refuse to stay.
I keep searching for them through the rain and the cold as night descends with the first winter storm.