It’s just after 5, and a half moon glows in the sky. It’s almost too dark for walking in the forest park, but you continue on, enjoying the novelty of walking in dark woods. The scent of moss sweetens the air and you breathe in as much you can. Every now and then, where the tree canopy has given way to Winter, the pathway brightens and you can make out the oranges and yellows of wet leaves that mulch underfoot. The river comes in and out of earshot as you round the pathway and pass by Lady’s Lake. Ducks move silently across the surface.
You make for the path along where the chestnut tree used to be. All that remains of it now are a few husks of trunk, strewn about in the very spot that houses so many special memories. It was the chestnut tree that we played in as kids, that our parents and grandparents played in before us. We picnicked beneath it, collected her conkers. It was sent around the world on postcards. The iconic feature of Dún a Rí Park now reduced to a pile of gnarled wood. You walk on.
The path by the Wishing Well is inky black. The heavy arch of laurel leaves covering it blots out light even on the sunniest of days. Now it adds darkness to darkness. You mind your step and pass through it, thinking about a story you have to finish when you get home and another you’d like to write. On down by the river and the evening coolness is invigorating. You don’t want to leave this place, but dusk is falling like a fog around you. So you climb the steps that lead to the gate and go home to work with your words.