I’ve recently been up in the Lake District, (for a work-related meeting), and was lucky enough to have a bit of time to spend enjoying the beautiful surroundings. This tree, next to a fast flowing stream – which I surmise must eventually reach Lake Windermere – is one I see on the walk to the Lake from the Centre where I stay. I often stop at this point and perch on the nearby bench. Here, I enjoy the sights, scents and sounds of this lovely place.
As you can see from the picture, the trees don’t have new leaves yet, but the moss that spreads all over the trunks is thriving.
As I was on ‘silent retreat,’ at this point, I suppose I was more attentive than usual to my surroundings. The evening before, in worship we had heard a poem by Ann Lewin – I forget the title, sorry – that, at one point, states that, “…anyone can make a hippopotamus… but a sparrow, that’s real craftsmanship.” I listened to the many and various sounds of the birds – something that often provokes me at home – and realized that there were dozens and dozens of different bird songs all around; and even more than that, even the same species with their particular calls were not identical. Now, I have a soft spot for the hippos of this world – even though they are reputed to kill more humans than any other African animal, (allegedly), and I’m often really grumpy about the noisy birds that live in my garden; however, listening to all the diverse and wonderful hymns of praise that were being sung in the woods was very uplifting and life-affirming. Later on this year, I shall be exploring silence and if this little taster is anything to go by, I’m in for a real treat.