Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Bolivia and a storm

I drive to Reepham through the rain and on the radio Stravinsky scowls and crashes in C major. Stravinsky alone can scowl in the key of C major.

On a day when my thoughts have turned back to Bolivia, so too do the thoughts of the press team at BirdLife International whose partner in Bolivia, Armonía, where many good friends work, has published a report on the state of Bolivia's birds. In my heart I still hear the angry shriek of the blue-throated macaw in a beniano flooded grassland and see the handsome liver-chested Cochabamba mountain-finch perched atop a straggling queñua tree high by an Andean pass. I miss them but I'm happy Armonía and other tireless NGOs are there to fight for them.

In the afternoon the sun appears, a blackbird sings, a swallow hawks over the pond, and my one fat common carder makes her daily visit to green alkanet in the tangle of my back garden. Then lightning comes in the south; big drops of rain bang my windows and weep down them to the drought-weak earth.

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!

William Shakespeare
King Lear

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