This was my walk one lovely morning near the end of March. It was one of those clear days of early Spring, with the sun warm on your back, the air clear and crisp, and there were a few hours to spare.
……On either side the river
lie long fields of barley and rye……
that clothe the wold
and meet the sky …..
Tennyson … The Lady of Shalott.
This is his country, his home county so when wandering on its paths, it’s easy to remember his words, flowing like the water, bringing feelings to the surface.
Stopping, I perch on the wall, high above the racing water, and wonder about the people who, with great precision laid the brickwork, fixed metalwork and maybe sat to eat the bread they had brought for the day. My lunch is minimal, a couple of biscuits and a few dates. I travel light!
Within the brickwork, over the years, seeds have stolen a place to be and to grow. Great ash plants overhang the water, reaching upwards and outwards, growing down into the deepest parts. Dampness feeds moss and ferns, hiding in shadow, glorying quietly in their years of peace and growth.
Who would have thought that there’s an incline between Louth and the Humber? I feel only flatness and levels and yet this water has a lively flowing pace. Sand and flint are the water bed, showing clear under the ripples.
Stiles and gateways interrupt the pathway along the canal bank. Gateways, crossing places and times of passing through … the present a hair’s breadth, whilst past passes away and the unknown future beckons.
It’s not a circular path. It could be, but not today. It’s good to turn and look back, and sometimes walk back seeing everything new, the flowing water, shallow pools, hiding creatures and the long path which seems the same but is changing in every moment.
And the world changed because of a virus. Next time, when all this strange period of life has passed by, there’ll be another lovely day and maybe a friend for company.