The radio tunes in. Brass blasts out the fanfare of the Christmas overture and at once I find the journey animated - like my very own Fantasia, or Snowman.
Warm winter sun creeps across the landscape as we twist and turn with the entrance and exit of familiar tunes that blend into a coherent whole. The sun catches the bark, casting a silver sheen on the trees stretching out in silhouette against the frosty brightness - touched with a pale apricot. Then, as a minor feel creeps in, we enter the wild woods, with the peering and the scurrying of little creatures tasked with keeping watch over us humans - caught between fascination and apprehension. Mulching leaves and brittle twigs rustle as the bassoon scuffs through the forest debris.
A corner turns onto the straight and the tempo increases. On the horizon windmills - so divisive amongst society, seem to begin an elaborate dance; bowing to each other before taking hold and jigging to the folk rhythms - while just missing the others' foot.
With each twist and turn we find the perspective takes us in and over the landscape; this is where the world explores its different characteristics - one moment stand offish, the next looming close to the car, before ducking down and lying in wait for the next surprise. Bridges seem to wink as they pass over, trees bunch and part like staves on a score.
From chopping and changing woods to fields languidly reclining out to the horizon - this after all is their season of rest and rejuvenation. The countryside opens up while the music gathers apace then slows, with trees thinning and giving way to the wisps of grasses left on the verge waving in the breeze as the coda dwindles before returning in a blazing sunshine for a final flourish.
Then the music is finished and the world around resumes its normal pace. At first I am lost for a moment, but then I am happy to have seen the world in this flicker of unity and strangeness. I am touched and amused and intensely grateful. Merry Xmas!