Picked a considerable amount of elderberries a couple of days ago. The repetitive action of stripping the berries from the stalks would have been good exercise in my piano-plating days; it’s a twiddly, fiddly process, staining the fingers a pale black. Not grey. After a while, you don’t really need to look at what you’re doing. Sitting at the table in the garden I found myself gazing at the leaves of a birch tree, backlit by the gathering sunset, and had the vague notion that I didn’t know who I was, or when…I wondered idly if this might be some kind of trance, induced by the elderberries, always something of a mysterious fruit…and the fact that people have performed this simple action for generations….Practitioners of yoga believe that the body holds a memory of actions repeated, hence the power in all that bending and stretching and mindful breathing. Maybe twiddling the elderberries works in the same way…the thought made me notice my own breathing, then, and I realised the sun had almost set and it was COLD!