Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 21 October 1915
The mists have been unusually heavy these last few days, and, mingling with them, the chief feature of our village landscape has been the garden bonfires. These burn all day and every day, but sunset and the hour after it is the time they make peculiarly their own, when the light, fragrant smoke drifts horizontally over the fields and threads its way through the hedges, and the whole countryside disappears in a dream of pearl-coloured vapour from which trees and shrubs emerge like islands from a sleeping sea. Only immediately overhead is the sky visible, and the edge of the haze surrounding the narrow circle of blue above us catches dimly the last beams of reflected sunlight in a charmed ring. Under it the earth in its melting folds of mists not only dreams but aspires also. Trees and mists and the solid ground itself seem to breathe and to gaze skyward. Is it because the flat planes of mist and smoke give a new value to every upward-pointing line – chimney or tree? Perhaps so, and perhaps the impression is more deeply grounded. Let us not analyse it too closely. At any rate, the mystery and beauty of the whole remains, as always, beyond all our analysis.
Source: Guardian Environment