I saw something move from the corner of my eye. It was still a little dark, the gloom of night had not yet risen to allow the blue of morning. It looked like a piece of clothing, a clump of fabric, something dark that seemed to roll of the edge of the kerb then stop. It was by the entrance to our estate just by one of the gateposts. I bent down. It was a hedgehog. A large hedgehog. Was it dead? It was perfectly still. I spoke to it. A soft voice. I’d never seen an adult one before. Are they nocturnal creatures? Then it seemed to raise itself. It snuffled and snorted, tiny pig like noises, then trundled off around the bottom of the post and down the road. Such encounters feel like gifts. Our paths have crossed. Like the female blackbird yesterday on the path up to work just hopping ahead of me, refusing to fly off. And the scattering of bunnies when I turned the corner. And the two elderly magpies (well they look elderly, a trifle ragged, seen better days) sitting in the sun outside my bedroom window. They make me feel part of something other, something that rolls on parallel to my petty concerns, all inward and dank. Their view of the world must be so different to mine.

A windy walk. The three bakeries in town did me proud. Utterly gorgeous bread smells. Ta.

I wanted to talk it out and he wanted to watch the cricket. But he acquiesced, he always does, perching his bottom on the edge of my bed. I just needed to hear myself talk it out. I didn’t want advice, just clarity. You might even end up making it untrue, he said. What like a piece of fiction? I asked. Yes, that might make sense. That might happen. I felt better for that possibility. I just know I have to keep writing. The process is almost as important as the content. I’m working myself out of the gloom. And yet, as I walked I thought about all the richness I wish to ‘speak’ about. It is enough. It is project enough, even if its destination in a drawer. It will be out, it will be formed, made sense of, articulated.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.