Monday, 1 May 2017
We all must have places where we feel the perfection of nature, that make us feel one with the world and all its beauty.
For some it might be by the sea, strolling along a vast sandy beach and listening to the music of the waves, for others ,wide open spaces with stunning views as far as the eye can see, or climbing to the top of a hill or mountain peak and feeling on top of the world, or striding through the jungle admiring the bright colours and lush vegetation, or feeling at one while roaming the desert sands.
All over the world there are places where people have their roots or simply feel they are at peace with the world. So many places are filled with such beauty that your heart can ache with emotion.
For me, this happens in a beech wood. It's where I have my roots. There is magic for me standing in a beech wood, listening to the rustling of the little creatures, the melody of the bird song, the unexpected sight of a deer shyly moving among the trees, the agile leap of a squirrel, the sound of children playing nearby.
Beech woods are majestic and stunning with every season that passes, but it is in spring that they are perfect, holding the promise of summer, the sunlight piercing the foliage, the leaves bright and green, fresh and new, and the carpets of bluebells, as blue as the sea, making you gasp in wonder.
My mum and I would go and cut a few branches of beech and pick a handful of bluebells, take them home and arrange them in a terracotta vase that she brought back from her honeymoon, clutching the vase and my father on the back of a motorbike.
Once you would see people emerging from the beech woods carrying enormous bunches of bluebells, but now it is not only frowned upon, but really they only last a few days once picked but in the woods they give pleasure for over two weeks.
This verse from William Blake (1757 - 1827) seems very appropriate for the beech woods in spring, it is called The Laughing Song
When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by
When the air does laugh with our merry wit
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it..