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concrete hanging hedge ritual

I'm forever finding strange things in the hedgerows near my home. Today, a jagged lump of concrete, hanging from a tree by some form of twisted, leather strap.

The strap, as far as I could tell, runs straight through the centre, as if the concrete formed around it before shattering. The whole piece looks unguessable, arcane, possibly useless.

I imagined who might have put it there - local kids playing with the landscape; builders moonlighting as witches; some rural cult of the Essex countryside marking their territory. It's been hung there deliberately, there's no doubt about that.

a small concrete slab hanging from a dense twist of winter trees

Camouflaged as it is amongst the winter trees, I'm not surprised I've never noticed it before - this whole flank of the woodland is a patchwork of concrete and old leather tones - but now I've seen it, I'll see it every time I walk past. One day, it might no longer be there.

Its disappearance could prove as strange as its appearance. Imagining someone taking it down and disposing of it is almost as hard as imagining someone putting it there in the first place. Perhaps the same unknowable forces that formed and fixed it there will reconvene to take it away. Perhaps I'll be the one to take it down, move it when no one's looking; hang it elsewhere in the woods, see how that shifts the energy of the land. I wonder if anyone, apart from me, would notice. I can't be the only one to have seen it there and thought it strange, and once you've thought it strange, surely you can't help but notice once it's gone.

Imagine if that's how it moves from place to place, taken down and strung up again further down the road by a long succession of curious passers-by. Perhaps it originated in some esoteric ceremony far away, a conjuring up of concrete and strap, and ever since then it's been travelling from hedgerow to hedgerow, lingering for weeks, months, even years at a time, waiting for a bemused, interfering soul to lift it and carry it to a new location. I wondered just how far it had come, how far removed from its origin. Perhaps it had never been anywhere but here.

Essex countryside 211223