Sunday, 22 March 2020

England Dear to Me






                                                          Afternoon tea with scones and strawberry jam



Dear Reader,


It is a very strange time we are living in, isn't it?  So I have put my poem 'England Dear to Me" on the blog today to remind us all of some of the things that make England so precious.  I expect you can think of lots of other things to add to my list, which could make us, perhaps, nostalgic for the many things we took for granted.  As you probably know, if you often read this blog, that I absolutely love being by the sea.  We had booked a holiday in glorious Lyme Regis in May but of course that is now cancelled.  So I will look at the evocative and wonderful photographs of the sea taken by Kaye Leggett and buy some DVDs depicting sea views of lonely places and deserted beaches especially of the Northern Isles of Scotland.

On the bird table at lunch today I saw: three goldfinches, two green finches, two wagtails, one chaffinch, and lots of blue tits and coal tits.  In the week I saw a woodpecker on the bird tray feasting himself for several minutes.  He was black and white with a red cap on his head.  This was the first time I saw him and I haven't seen him since.

*

March 21st, l762, Richard Hayes wrote from Kent:

'This day I saw a yellow butterfly.....My rooks, by the cold weather and snows, did not begin building till last Sunday(14th).'

March 21st, 1798, Dorothy Wordsworth wrote from Somerset:

'We drank tea at Coleridge's.  A quiet shower of snow was in the air during more than half of our walk.'

*

England Dear to Me

It is the robins, blackbirds, blue tits,
hopping and grubbing in the garden
that lurch my heart
make England dear to me.
It is the velvet of green moss,
oak trees, old with history,
the first cowslips,
hedgerows filled with dog rose, foxgloves
and shy sweetpeas in china bowls.
It is finding tea rooms in small market towns,
enticing with homemade scones and strawberry jam,
or suddenly glimpsing church spires
inching their way to heaven.
It is finding a Norman church,
full with a thousand years of prayer,
and a quiet churchyard mothering its dead.
It is small country lanes, high hedged,
views of mauve hills stretching skywards,
sheep and lambs dotting the green,
and bleached Norfolk beaches,
silence only broken with a seagull's cry.
It is the people,
their sense of humour,
their way of saying 'sorry' when you bump into them,
their fairness, and once or twice a year
their 'letting go',
singing "Jerusalem' with tears and passion.

It is these things
that lurch my heart
make England dear to me.
*


 Good luck this week in all you do, and are
Very best wishes, Patricia

1 comment:

Kaye Leggett said...

Would you like some scones ? I could make some for you ......