Reflections on a Country Walk in January


Forgotten, abandoned, Mother Earth is sleeping
Hidden away underground in pensive solitude
Accepting her role of prisoner under Winter’s rule.

Soft brindle cattle with questioning eyes
Huddle together In rough-hewn stalls
They do not complain at their sad loss of freedom
Their bodies take shelter from deep, piercing cold
But their souls yearn to roam through buttercup fields
Patiently waiting, their hooves stamp out
The long-lost memory of a summer dance.

Gossamer cobwebs like shrouds in the hedgerows
Weave tales from the goddess of maid, mother, crone
The shivering threads whisper close-guarded secrets
Cast far on the wind for the wise ones to hone

My breath catches quick in the sharp, frosty air
I shudder and zip up my Barbour coat tightly
A battle with Jack Frost requires some cunning!
I flip up the collar and fumble, white-fingered
In over-crammed pockets for mittens and headgear –
And find – Emma’s beanie from Nursery school days!
Complete with its fox ears and button-bead eyes
I pull it down snug over frizzy, damp curls
Its jaunty ears bobbing in time with my steps

Oozing mud clings to these Doc Marten boots
My hike through the fields becomes clumsy and slow
The moaning wind wrestles the trees in defiance
No audible birdsong …….yet, bravely nearby
A robin observes me from high on the hedgetop
His head cocked bemused as I plod on my way

Beyond the wood a welcome cottage beckons
Smoke rises, and I long for the cosy cheer of home
A steaming bowl of hot broth, buttered crumpets by the fire
Toasting stiffened fingers and stretching aching limbs
Once safe inside, the howling Winter storms
Can rant and rage at will – they hold no fear for me!
For now is the time of rest and quiet introspection
But soon Earth will don again her cloak of green perfection

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