Back along I lived among the fields. In that first lockdown when we all of a sudden felt obliged to take a walk a day whether we wanted to or not. Those days were spring days. But also troubled days and so I found myself taking something to the fields. I came to internally name these as a ‘one field problem’, ‘two field problem’, ‘three field problem’. How many fields it took to absorb some of my pain. The gritty earth, the trampled grass, the ignorant flowers that bore the weight of my soul for me.
Somehow the left and right repetition of it, the deep breath cleansing of it, the physical sun on my face, wind in my hair, mud on my shoes, heart pumping rigour of it, shifted things around. The problems not solved exactly, my mind often raced around and around. But it raced slower than normal because it also had to navigate the stile and my ears could not help but hear what the birds had to say about things, singing as they do doggedly at the start and close of every day.
Just now I live a bit farther from a field and it is winter. The dull winter time too when we have endured January but there are weeks to go before spring will start to sing. And I awake with my problems, a new set has been added in, rendering my soul void but my head spinning. I am tired to the bone and am inclined to remain in the warmth of my bed which has held my exhaustion, is familiar with my tears. But my pillow has absorbed so many anxious thoughts at 3am it is saturated and will not comfort me.
And my kids are up, one twirling round singing with lightness and daftness, the other delivering me their poem, a gift to me in my sadness. He has called it ‘Snow’.
Out the window snow covers the ground completely. I notice also that the sun has found her way in the sky today.
I remember the three fields.
I pull on boots, leave my phone at home and head out. I walk and walk and keep on walking to that ever moving horizon until things in me start to shift, until the racing slows, until I stop a moment and see. See the winter that slows all the seasons, see the snow that covers all that grows, the trees that stand still and patient, wrapped under layers of white cold.
I find my soul in this cold climate.
Turns out my son knew this already. For his 8-year-old, misspelt, scrawled, folded up, poem to me this morning reads;
The nice place is home, The warmth of the bed. The wonderful snow. The snow is white and calm, kind and beautiful. Take care, because the snow will guide you, to where you belong, your heart. LFR 2021