Lockdown walking

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There's been a lot more walking during the lockdown period: "We've run out of milk! I'll just have a walk to the shops and pick some up". "I wonder if this jumper still keeps out the cold? I know I'll just go for a walk and test it out." "These new socks need bedding in properly. I'll just go for a walk."

The Revd Alec Brown doesn't need such excuses to go out for a walk, he just does it to enjoy the countryside. He recently went on a walk to Arley Hall following in the footsteps of one of his more famous former parishioners, Arnold Boyd of Antrobus, who was a much-respected naturalist and writer in the middle part of the 20th century. Arnold is buried in Antrobus Churchyard and his book, 'A Country Parish' is a classic, recognised as one of the first in the New Naturalist series.

Following his trip out, Alec was inspired to put pen to paper and write a poem, which he titled 'Lockdown Walking'.

 

Lockdown Walking

Startling a pheasant, and a field of busily munching sheep

as the metal gate clangs noisily behind me,

I track a grey heron as it flies low over the field towards the far copse

where it lands and regards me haughtily from the safety of the trees;

and all around on this warm and sunny November morning

birds are singing and the walkers I meet are themselves almost buzzing

with the sheer joy of being outside on such a day, and the casual conversations

and small courtesies mean so much in these still locked down times;

while in a neighbouring field one man and his quad

are steering a herd of cows towards drier pastures,

and upon the work and wonder of the countryside a pair of walkers and I gaze

as we each move instinctively towards the outer edges of the path

and one remarks, with outstretched arms, on how blessed we are,

saying he and his friend will surely come again,

to which I can do no other than to whisper a heartfelt Amen.

 

The Revd Alec Brown
Arley/Aston-by-Budworth

 


 

The power of poetry

Earlier this year as the nation was dramatically plunged into the first lockdown, the Revd Alec Brown and two other members of clergy held a conversation via Zoom to explore poetry’s appeal and power at a time of crisis. Listen again to their conversation.


Page last updated: 23rd November 2020 10:47 AM