He wakens my ear

A misty early moring scene

It’s a misty  early morning  at the turn of the year. As the dawn light glides across the garden the contrasts of light and dark are accentuated. Shapes appear out of the darkness, beauties begin to be revealed – the shape of shrubs, tree stems, last year’s surviving dried grasses in their ochre and brown dress, teazle heads standing up proud. The mist adds a sense of mystery as a new day is opened up in front of us. Yes, it’s good to be alive on a new morning like this, even in mid-winter -a  new day beckons. We are thankful for every new morning, with its freshness and opportunities. Continue reading “He wakens my ear”

Nature Closely Observed


I love Keats’ delicate descriptions of the natural world. We wish that he had lived longer than his so very short life of a mere 25 years—what a great loss that he died so young, yet what fruitful 25 years. As he suggests, there is great joy and delight to be discovered in escaping the restless world of city life through time spent in solitude amidst ‘Nature’s Observatory’:

Continue reading “Nature Closely Observed”

Solitude, Stillness and Silence

A moment of peace by the river Arun, near Arundel, West Sussex

A few years ago, during the BBC TV programme, ‘The Monastery’, based on Worth Abbey in Sussex, one of the monks was showing a group of school children around. Standing with them in the quiet chapel  he stilled the children’s chatter: ‘Shush ! Can you hear that?’ he said. There was not a sound to be heard yet he continued: ‘Do you know what that is ? It’s called ‘silence’! He went on to explain to his young visitors what discoveries can be made when we open ourselves to the wonderful world of silence, with all its possibilities.

Continue reading “Solitude, Stillness and Silence”

Awake with the Dawn


         There’s something very special about early morning.                                    Ivor Gurney called it “day’s most sacred hour”.

Night has passed and a new day is beginning and I’ve been sitting, with a cup of tea, looking out on the garden.

I’m the only one awake in this house and it appears that there’s no sign of life yet among the neighbours. The ever present sound of traffic through the village near by is at a minimum. As far as I am concerned it’s just me  alone with the dawn. To sit and take in the quietness and the stillness is exhilarating.

The birds, of course, have beaten me to it. It is surprising how many different songs I can still hear in the surrounding gardens. All my senses are involved; as well as the silence and the stillness there is the smell of the wet grass and the scent of ‘productive decay’ among the carpet of leaves, still lying where they fell a few weeks ago. It’s a heavenly moment.

Continue reading “Awake with the Dawn”