England, My England.
The poet John Clare called November the “Sybil of months”. The month that speaks for the Gods and they are telling us that winter is coming. Autumn has entered its final Passion. The trees are minting gold. The wind is forcing us to look for our scarves and gloves. The rain having held off for weeks now lurks mischievously at every hour. And then there is the light. The low sun gives a brightness which reflected off the new carpets and the old leaves creates the halo for this season of mists.
Last weekend we were staying with our dear cousins Ollie and Legs on their farm near Eye in North Suffolk. I took their lovable and now deaf dog out for its early morning pee. The grass still heavy with the overnight frost. To the right a 30 acre field with sprouting barley, to the left a similar field with deep plough ruts. This is arable, fertile country with few hills. The sun’s glare forcing me to shade my eyes.
And then I saw it. A hare. At first hopping casually. I clapped and suddenly it was the 3.15 at the Wimbledon Dog Track. The hare was running and running fast. Overhead a few rooks circled, a few more leaves fell. The hare went into the copse, out of sight but not out of mind.
Later that day we looked at the lovely church in the small village of Burgate.(see link). Great medieval brass and a First War memorial which is the purest folk art. The village got its name from old English and Danish-Burial Road. For this was the route that St Edmunds was taken to his burial place in Bury St Edmunds.
Somewhere the wisp and smell of wood smoke, a breath, the air as pure as sleep. We are with deep friends. England, My England.