Soul Food

Lapwing on an island, Colebrook Lake North, Moor Green Lakes, Berkshire, 22nd January 2015

It is a long time (like years and years) since I spent all morning finishing a book (what I’d call a rollicking good read – ‘Unseen Things Above’ by Catherine Fox).

We didn’t eat brunch until after 11am (with experimental homemade hashbrowns), listened to almost every ball of Test Match Special (hypnotic, even when South Africa are having a run-feast and England are dropping catches), and I ignored the chores and the phone.

Himself was recovering from a lurgy, but at the end of the afternoon we took a long dusk walk at Moor Green Lakes.  There was a group of Lapwing on one of the islands chattering gently among themselves – not the full “pee-wit” sound of their summer-time displays, but somehow a less strident conversation – a sound from my childhood when there was regularly a flock up on the old aerodrome at Stoney Cross in the New Forest where I learnt to ride a bike. An earthy smell assailed us, crossed with lines of wood-smoke from the houses up on the hill.

A grainy, long-exposure shot of the moon across Colebrook Lake, late dusk, Moor Green, 22nd Jan 2015

We walked the nearly complete gravel workings nearby as the light faded and the seagulls lifted and circled above our heads, and watched Roe Deer move through the rough grass after they’d crossed the path, and presumably the river, behind us. Then, barely able to see the path ahead, we retraced our steps past Colebrook Lake as the geese came in skeins across the moonlight to roost.

We returned home to a slow-cooked, pot-roast rabbit I’d had the sense to put in the oven before we left, and then munched our way through a little of the post-Christmas chocolate bonanza in front of a rugby match!

It was a day to fill the soul, to remind myself what it means to relax in the company of my closest friend, to re-charge the batteries, to know that God created a world that can fill the senses he gave us, if only we can give him the time to make the most of it.

To God, be the glory.


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