A thin place on a wintry hill

Another postcard from the land of grief

Sometimes when living far from home, people will take a little soil from the ‘old country’ with them. In the new and unfamiliar place, there is then always a connection with the old beneath their feet.

This morning I stood on a windswept slope in West Berkshire, overlooking Watership Down. As the snow blew all around, I laid the ashes of my very best friend to rest. As seasons come and go and the cherry tree planted there begins to flower, she will be especially remembered. It is a ‘thin’ place – standing in the new but not far from the old. I’ve a feeling that Ginny and I will often be found there – her quivering with excitement at the scents on the breeze, and me grateful for all the years I had.

On this occasion, nobody else’s words would do, so I wrote my own tribute:

You are the crest on a breaking wave

You are the kite wheeling in a golden sky

You are the scrunch of stones washed by the sea

You are the last and hardest steps to see the mountain view

You are the wisdom in the eyes of our sons

You are the courage in their hearts

You are the meter which stops the poem from seeping into prose

You are the note which stands a between dissonance and harmony

You are a chord within my heart, now playing only half a tune

You are the pause , the breath taken before a foolish response

You are the rich depth of Autumn

The promise of Spring

The Summer joy of a perfect sky

The welcome nip of a Winter’s day

You are half of me, and I am half of you

You are, forever, my bravest and best




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