What would the world be once bereft,
Of wet and wildness?
Let them be left, O let them be left,
wildness and wet;
Long live the leaves and the wilderness yet.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I have been lucky enough to be staying in the depths of Devon for a few days. This morning was a particularly beautiful one; frosty, cold and sunny. A mixture of fields covered in mist with ghostly outlines of trees (oaks mainly) and these glorious beeches. Murmurations of starlings and fields of fieldfares.
It was a joy to be able to walk out amongst it, every turning showed a new prospect with the early morning sun lighting everything to perfection.
The hedgerows were festooned in frost with sparkling cobwebs slung between skeletal stems of grass. It was also quiet, apart from birdsong and about 10 cars in two hours.
I swear at one point I could smell lavender, I couldn’t see any but there was a beautiful aromatic smell. There was also an astringency to the frosty air, which meant you needed to keep moving but it was invigorating and helped you feel happy to be alive.
A cacophony of starlings in a tree shouting the odds and also creating a huge mess over the wrapped rolls of hay underneath. The route I took this morning was alongside very open countryside, big prospects and sweeping views. It is very soothing to be able to see the horizon (it’s a distance that our eyes like and relax into). Have you ever tried to count all the shades of green? Or notice how nothing clashes or jars, how the hills and fields flow and gracefully blend into each other?
I came back soothed and relaxed (and hungry!)
I appreciate that I am very lucky to be able to go away and also be able to walk freely and easily. As I sit here and write this there is a small bunch of flowers on my desk, spending a few moments looking at the delicate markings on the carnations and the folds of the rose bud has a similar effect to the walk. The natural world is a wonderful thing and deserves our consideration and respect; it’s also very good for our health and well-being. So whether it’s a pot plant, a walk round the garden or a tramp around the lanes,
Take a good look at nature and marvel.