Another shot of our visit to Scotney Castle. Loved this scene of the old castle.
This morning I was in the presence of what I can only describe as an overly exuberant person. Being more on the introverted side of things, encounters like these test my patience. I can’t join in because of my sense of incongruence, and a deadened response to it is just plain bad manners. So I find myself, at times, in these rather uncomfortable and in-between places. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve mastered a subtle and measured form of enthusiasm, which I reserve specifically for these encounters. I applied it in this case and it served me well.
In the English landscape, you often see a single, sizable and old tree standing in a flat and expansive landscape. Although it has the look of loneliness about it, it’s locational rootedness is a positive affirmation of its presence and its right to be there. It makes no apologies for its presence.
Whenever I see such a tree, it affirms in me “my right to be here” and I live and move through this beautiful world without any apology for my presence.
Yesterday, in the soft rain, I walked over to where we park our car. The sky and everything else seemed so grey – all a bit depressing. Then I saw them, pressed up against the trunk of a tree, a glorious clump of Daffodils. As I looked at them I was ushered into my day with a new sense of joy and vigour, and my mind turned to one of my favourite poets:
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
This scene of a section of the village a little way from ours, is one I pass regularly on my morning walks. Today, I decided to quickly sketch it. Not much sign of Spring yet, just one tree in full blossom.
There’s something wonderful about ruins. They speak of age, memory and past lives, and stand as a living protest against time’s destruction. There’s a dignity about them, even in their decaying and worn-out appearance.
These ruins are part of the old Scotney Castle in Kent. Loved our visit there. Took this shot with my iPhone.
Passed this lichen on my walk yesterday.
I’ve always been a great admirer of the poetry and writings of Mary Oliver. The other day I was going through some notes of mine and came across these words of hers – deeply touching. Sadly, she died in January 2019.
“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”
She lived these words.
This morning I stopped alongside a fence and listened to a horse grazing in the field. It was a beautiful sound, breathy and hollow with an echoing kind of chomp, punctuated now and then by the slight sound of the grinding of teeth. It was a lovely moment and I was transported back to some of the words of a favourite poem of mine, “The Listeners” by Walter de La Mare:
Is there anybody there? said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
I loved, and still love, the phrase – “The forest’s ferny floor” – I can go on saying it forever – “The forest’s ferny floor” – and I can hear his horse in the silence champing away at the grasses.
A quick sketch I did of a ridge in the Kent countryside. I often have a dream where I launch myself from a ridge and fly over a deep valley. Not sure what the dream means, but it’s a pretty exhilarating one, even though the initial act of launching is extremely scary.
A sketch I did of an Irish coastal scene. The place seemed abandoned with an air of loneliness about it.
To courageously take in the palm of your hand that which you fear, and to gaze into it with discerning sight, is to empty it of all dread. What is understood has little power to frighten. Inner peace is deeply tied to our ability to understand. To understand is to be at peace.