Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Yet this will go onward the same

The snow has gone, the frost has gone. Today the Weather God has sent us rain. Our new neighbour (see previous post) has been evicted from his cosy bed of straw and with his mother must walk the hills. Admittedly he doesn't look too bothered - let's face it, it's been one hell of an upheaval to get thus far. One moment you're bathed in warm amniotic fluid - the next some son of the soil is hauling you through a tight dark tunnel and depositing you on a dusty floor and then... And then you get licked by a sheep. Mother though looks decidedly peeved and has spent the morning alternately bleating and pacing. That's sheep for you.

I spent the morning in the greenhouse. While the dogs rolled and tumbled outside I made a start planting a few seeds - which is good because it does make out that spring is actually on the way. I planted Sweet Peas, Michaelmas Daisies and Burkheya.

A ribbon of mist trailed between Badnage Wood and our Dingle - wisps like smoke. Thomas Hardy's In time of 'The Breaking of Nations' came to mind; I wondered what momentous things were going on elsewhere: births and deaths and arguments, war and noise and celebrity rubbish. And here on the Long Mountain we have the ebb and flow of the seasons and their activities marking time. This is the way it has been for centuries and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I like to think this place of solitude is here - and always has been - while all is clamourous elsewhere. Even more I am glad to be in this landscape.

This is Thomas Hardy's poem:

In Time of "The Breaking of Nations"

ONLY a man harrowing clods
In a slow silent walk,
With an old horse that stumbles and nods
Half asleep as they stalk.

Only thin smoke without flame
From the heaps of couch grass:
Yet this will go onward the same
Though Dynasties pass.

Yonder a maid and her wight
Come whispering by;
War's annals will fade into night
Ere their story die

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