Been on the road again, so just some thoughts from the return home
Back Home and enjoying real life again. Appreciating all it means.
Home is where we grow up. Where our loved ones will always wait for us. Where the welcome is strongest. Yet it is also an abstract, a place in our mind made up of memories, people, loved ones and some small, valued object perhaps. Here’s to that place, solid or not, that will always be home.
Shack on a Hill.
It Might be raining soon,
but the roof still works
and the walls may not be straight
but they hold back the wind
and the windows are tired
though they let in the light
and the door is askew
but we always welcome visitors
and floor creaks with each person
walking from table to chair
which is all the better today
because its raining outside.
Day One, a trip home on the lanes between here and Bath. Tired, relaxed we chat and plan, drift in our thoughts and in and out of conversation. Home and we spill in to the light of home, food, coffee and bed. Life is travel, we go from one place to another, and we travel with someone if we are lucky.
Driving in the Dark.
Headlights rising and falling across the dark roads,
blossoming between the hedgerows and exploding
through gateways. A journey home in the night.
Glimpses of the dark watered lakes, pushing the star-light
back skyward. Corsham, Blagdon, Ubley, Banwell.
All markers to pass, silent slips of humanity
strung along the road, Villages that pass in the night.
Quiet talk even though we are the only two in the cab,
family, plans and small details pass with the roads turns
and every once in a while we are illuminated, etched white
in the oncoming beam as someone else passes this place.
They head on to the road we traveled and I use the catseyes
to keep true to the black line. Houses strung like fairy lights
glimpsed in passing. The speed of passing blending them
into the simplest idea of something.
We stop in the glow of a junction, full of the confluence
of traffic and tracks, waiting our turn with the lights.
Close now, not long and we close the door on night.
I have been following the map again.
The title, cross country, refers to my country, the space around me and where I can pick and choose landmarks to walk to. Where, although I know the countryside well, I still choose to take a map and see the old landscape overlaying the new.
Cross Country I have a place to be, far from here over contours by Callow Drove, Fry's Hill. Cross Lane and Axbridge. I went alone and with others once, with strangers to Wavering Down and Kings Wood, following the path weaving across the map, itself folded and pressed. Reaching out to places I can reach across the span of my hand, thumb to outstretched fingertip. stretching along Cross Moor Drove and crossing Bow Bridge. On along the old Cheddar Yeo, passing by Crab Hole. There is more here than climbing Crook Peak, above Dunnet Farm, from here you can look over Broad Knoll and Church Knoll, walk above Yew Tree Cliff and on past Fore Cliff and Cross Plain. To cross the boundary of sorts, at the end, where the page finishes and we turn back before nightfall to a warm return and home, a place on the map we know exists.
Happy travels, and remember to always consult a map of your journey. Before, during and after, it will illuminate the landscape around you as go.
Changing countries, travelling the line between two homes, a life in both places. It’s hard to change from one side to another and the journey becomes a calm interval, the white space around the words.
Changing Places. The shade of the clouds runs across in patterns of warm and cool matched by the wind. Sea swell crosses the waves breaking the crest and throwing spray into the air. Nothing to do except wait, pass the time conversations, bad coffee and people to watch. The cliffs of The Isle of White mark the transition from Channel to inland water. Returning, leaving, stuck between. Language, money, and style all change at the borders.