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- Location: Buckfastleigh, Devon
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Watching Things Grow
‘Look at how the fern frond gradually uncurls’, she said.
‘I want to touch and let it clasp my finger, like a child’s hand.
It feels its way towards the light.
See how they’ve spread and stretched up after all that rain.
And here’s a bank of Bugle. Beautiful!’
I see them jostle purple spires in the opened space.
Everything is gazing at the sun, not harsh, but filtered
through leaf-latticing. Now the water slides its silver skin
along the valley floor to moisten roots,
throw up yellow flags on lancet leaves,
push the peeping pink of ragged robin from its case.
Spring air lifts birds’ voices to the tops of trees
where they shimmer in the arching blue.
Rippled conversations weave all layers of the wood.
‘We need to give ourselves the time to stop and look’, she said.
So we settle, centre to the stillness of a watching eye that marks
the stir of grass heads, passages of wings amongst the stems,
the marbled skirt of mint moth on a purse of vetch, note
the drift of willow floss dispersing seed, detect the rustle
of the water’s tongue, feel ourselves sifted, cleansed,
remember how our hands need not always crush and strip,
but can tend and cradle, trace the unfurling stems in mind,
on paper, and in restoration of the wild.
May 28th, 2021