Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Foxglove Days

For every elemental power
Is kindred to our hearts, and once
Acknowledged, once embraced,
Once taken to the unfetterd sense,
Once claspt into the naked life,
The union is eternal.
George Meredith
When I take Sam out in the late afternoon, the Sea Brows are deserted. I stroll quietly on a maze of paths, past disused sandstone quarries where the crows wheel in their clumsy flight and rabbits make speedy exits as we pass. These narrow paths are lined with grasses and wild flowers, this year as rich and profuse as I can remember in the twenty years I've walked them. Seas of dog-roses have colonised every ditch and every dip in the land, while stands of campion and hogweed make a pink and white patchwork, occasionally accented by blue vetch, all the way.

On the steep banks, which in May were awash with the cerulean haze of bluebells, bracken has taken over and is aggressively unfurling its fronds day by day. But the dense green of the bracken is punctuated by majestic spires of purple foxgloves, growing more profusely and richly than I can ever remember.

The paths come out on to open grassland beside the sea, where there are clumps of sea-pinks and kidney vetch. It is very quiet here. The heat has brought out the strong, pungent smell of plants and sandy soil. All you hear, at full tide, on a calm, sultry afternoon, is the sound of the sea lapping rhymthically against the sea-walls. Even the oyster-catchers and seagulls seem to have been lulled.

1 comment:

Atticus said...

Quite lovely, Celia, and beautifully written. Thank you. I've ordered Abram's book, incidentally.