We walked, still

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We walked, still, even
after her energy had
waned far, unreplenished
by the ordinary grace of
food once consumed easily
and by most simply taken
for granted

And in the walking saw
and felt again and again
that nourishment may
be drawn for the soul
though the physical frame
tires and slows and evening
firelight glows

illuminating kaleidoscopic
memories and warming
hopes long held and yet
aspired to. Yes, we walked
still. And as though they had
been aware of a greater than
usual urgency

on Christmas Day in rain
around mid-afternoon and
a five mile tramp from our
beloved fireside she stooped
to feel snowdrops newly
raised from earth between
her fingers

Not too late this arrival –
not too late – it was a
timely coming
and is now a photograph
developed upon the backdrop
of my mind. Souvenir
We have come. We remember

And we walk, still
again and again

SRM

What calms and settles …

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Today we’ve enjoyed the company of a friend who sought a day’s peace and quiet. ‘Just a little bit of stillness.’ And I knew just the place, close by, to find some stillness – the kind that facilitates the quietest sort of conversation, unrushed, with plenty of silence between words and sentences (if we don’t count the racket created by three hugely enthusiastic woodpeckers!)

So we headed uphill. On foot. The drystone wall pictured here was chief among the features of the landscape that my friend alighted upon quickly. This landscape helps people breathe life deep. And I recalled a poem I penned, on a similar walk, in the autumn of last year. A friend’s quiet seeking led me too, once again, into ‘a little bit of stillness’.

What of vast realities do I see,
gazing on lake and fell and drystone wall?
What do I hear here, deep in my soul in
this present, and my soul’s memory hall?

What calms and settles my undue haste and
whence the touch, smell and taste on the breeze?
What in wide and expansive openness
places me thankfully, deeply at ease?

What about this being here restores me
to an ancient and forgotten knowing?
Here in high magnificence I now breathe
life deep and am both come and going.

SRM