1 – Further develop any work begun but unfinished on 17 January
2 – Go to a special place where you can, first, experience quiet and stillness, and then write about it – poetry or prose, c. 300 words
Deeply thankful for the precious gift of Mary Oliver, who died today. This is exactly what we heard, in so many different ways, in our time together this morning.
Love and light, Angela
17 January 2019
Sitting above you, my feet on rock,
My bottom on a thoughtfully placed bench.
I ask you…
And you wash over me.
The sound of your cells colliding,
It is the buzz of connection.
The voice of the world,
All its cells moving together,
You flow over and through me,
We are one.
All at once – bonded together.
Free of separation,
I am one with the world,
As are you.
This tingling dance of life,
Swiftly and easily,
Through my flesh
And hard bones!
How I delight in flowing like you do.
Ever changing – as you are,
With the wind,
The Cumbrian skies.
Different, but in truth the same.
With every visit,
We share contemplation.
You show me with mastery,
The way life is when true essence prevails.
That strengthens my ground.
I am rich,
I am abundant,
I tear myself away.
Letting others sit with your wisdom,
My heart is open,
‘Stay with me?’
I know I’ll be complacent,
Allowing my true essence to fade,
I ‘will’ need your teaching again!
A new car clutch,
We leave the 2CV,
the sun shining.
Through the iron swing gate
we follow the footpath on the map.
A different world from behind,
green dew drenched grass, a winding stream.
A startled heron spreads its wings
lifts in heavy beats.
Bushes filled with blue-black berries
we pick and eat.
A boggy patch, an awkward wooden stile.
We find the place to sit.
The stream flows in both directions.
Why the whirlpools?
Water oozes from the edge of the bank.
Grass and vegetation, a land-drain surely.
Have sandwiches and a drink.
Willow warblers – they’re late
left Stainmore a week ago.
Haverick Pool, Seaweed!
Rising tide from the sea?
Or a fresh water stream.
Time to go
Awkward wooden stile,
blackberries in a sandwich box,
winding stream, sun dried grass,
through the iron swing gate.
Down the dusty slope to the long sweep of
gold sand and the beach café’s garlic gambas
and Pablo’s distinctively rich dark brown
coffee where the chief scent of the morning
is of suncream and warmed skin and quiet
conversation is accompanied by
out-of-control symphonies of wind-blown
wires thrashing the masts of a rainbow of
sailboards – and yes – we come here every year
to tell again of the turquoise and the
turtles and shyly aware faithfulness
to-a-fault to these times and to these hot
prawns and coffee like this and even to
the same sun oil and quieting stilling
soothing murmur of the ocean of love
and abiding in hearts and souls that know
one another so well that the shoreline
paddling and the holding hands and the light
and the deep and the sad and the funny
conversation and affectionate and
glad recollection will carry us both –
after our falling into the deepest
of deep sleeps – unto shoreline and sunshine
of our universal eternity
She trudged along the well-worn path her boots sinking in the freshly fallen snow. In the distance, a muffled hum of motorway traffic was the only sound to disturb the hush that accompanies snow, on this foggy January morning.
In the field on her right, Blackface sheep huddled around a feeding trough. They stopped chewing as one, staring at her passing, with defiant challenge, or ovine innocence? She wasn’t sure which. To her left, a small herd of roe deer emerged from the trees.stepping gracefully in single file along the edge of the field. A charm of chaffinches and one lone robin, red breast flashing crimson against the winter white background, darted in and out of hedgerows searching for food amongst the tight, thorny branches.
As she approached the railway bridge her pace quickened, she’d heard the rumble of an approaching train. Just in time, the London to Edinburgh Pendolino express thundered down the trade passing beneath her on its way to the next stop.
Turning to retrace her footsteps, the wind in her face, she halted to take in the view that always took her breath away. Spread out before her lay the bustling market town of Penrith, nestling in the lee of Beacon Hill, the tops of the mighty Pennines a magnificent backdrop. And this is where I now call home, she thought with a smile, before continuing on her way.