When morning meets my melancholy I must refocus dispel my clouds and reconnect to nature through her glory
The garth gate invites pledges enchantment such memories harboured here once the cloister garden of my medieval monastery now still the repository of the priory’s peace ancient orchard now transformed but still a place to rejuvenate the soul to touch feel and taste nature’s serenity
The morning mist lingered low over the once fallow fields then no longer virgin earth but become thick with apple trees and those long gone and autumn dormant now awaiting its wheat-carpeted summer season
The morning advances only half-appreciated until the the priory arch proud against the sky bursts through the mist into the weak sun’s gaze the veiled sky allowing the gathering sunlight slowly to prove its strength and bring clarity to a waiting world
And The pathway its ancient course piercing its length into the shrouded distance remembrancer now of those Augustinian brothers traversing this ancient orchard
who with such care tended nature’s gifts now bare of fruit but never fruitless no longer cosseted by priestly presence and full of nuanced context still
For me …
The Applegarth my own memory of this sanctified place sings of golden corn bordering that arrowed path where also was the winning post the last gasp of those long-past teenage distance running races marking my triumphs measuring my success against the countless strides I had wrenched from my straining body to accomplish to lead the race the end of endeavours signifying my own my personal accomplishment.
Yes, my youth brought many vital moments among my native hills. Such interludes return now in flashback and in dreams in vignettes and in echoes; instances of acute sensitivity, memories more precious and persistent as year passes into year.
I wish I had been more alive then, more interwoven with my surroundings, instinctively attached to the skies above and to the rolling landscape below.
For there, on the vast wide-open moorland where, above my breathing, what I heard, was only the sound of the bees visiting the sun-yellow gorse, and the sighing rustle of the breeze playing amongst the curls of bracken, the blackbirds circling above in the sundown dusk, calls of the curlew, lapwing and meadow pipit lost in broom , hidden in heather.
Sometimes, in the bliss of solitude’s memory, I have known a disregard for time itself, and I sense I would happily reach eternal slumber in the rapturous throes of such longing.