Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A Place and a Song

Walking over the downs and through the woods. A warm, but overcast summers day. A rare chance to be outside in the countryside this year - it is very welcome. Many walkers are on the hills keeping to well worn paths and following the tread of others. Off the beaten track I scramble up into the wood to join the deer and silence. I sit and sketch an old beech tree then wander on through through various old mixed woodland and newer conifers. I follow the paths made by deer until I find myself at a lower corner with fields and my destination beyond.

It is just a corner of the wood, nothing visually special. Just trees and elder around me, dog's mercury on the floor and a couple of badger setts. Forgot to look at exactly what trees were there.

Even after nearly a week I am still thinking about this place. It was like walking into... well, I don't know what. I was just captivated by a sense of place. It caught me unexpectedly, as though I had entered a room that held something of great beauty, awe or wonder. Or was it just peace? I can't really explain it. But I left with something that I have not been able to let go.

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Late evening on the campsite. The evening light is giving way to darkness. Noise all around: Friends beside me talking, children shouting and running around, people having fun, the hum of cars on the main road. My attention is caught by what was probably a song thrush singing in a tree. It's melody piercing the space around it. Bold and clear it sang - too loud and strong to be a blackbird or a robin that far away. I wonder if anybody else noticed it. I thought about interrupting the conversations around me to point it out but decided it wasn't worth the effort.


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