Tones of orange washed the land as silence descended over Anglezarke. The waters of the lake mirrored the set of the cloud layers, which in turn followed the lie of the ancient landscape. Dusk stole over the darkening pastures, silhouetting thornbushes against the fire-sky.
Nothing stirred apart from the herons who argued and honked over the night’s best resting place in the top of a solitary pine which bore the signs of new nests. A sharpness delineated the moorlands, cutting them from the sky, separating their whitening grasses from the velveting cosmos that whirled above.
From the brooding night quiet they came. Two blacknesses merged as one, crossing the bounds of time, knitting together the landscape and the skyscape with their slow synchronistic wingbeats, as they have done for always. Ravens. Courting ravens. Focused on nothing but each other they winged overhead, slowly playing out Beltane’s first dance, a kiss-chase through the ripening stars.
She took the lead, coyly flapping her oily black wings marking her speed to that of her mate. He copied her every move, never trying to gain on her, his beak a wingbeat away from her tail as she meandered through their realm. Softly they spoke that familiar raven ‘cron… cron’. Utterings of promise maybe, of times ahead, of excitement as they sensed the growth of spring.
Now directly overhead, their pinions rasped the air, echoing eerily from the water below. ‘Cron‘. I watched in silence, following their every move, their every mood as they ventured beyond the reach of my vision. For those few moments I was raven. I could feel the tang of their union, the knowing, the certainty of Beltane’s promise. Nothing mattered anymore. Their entire universe was condensed into that moment of respect, of mutuality and tender togetherness.