my journey

by Margaret Haig

my journey has been filled with trees and deer and rabbits and pigeons and cows and sheep and flooded plains and hills; rolling rising and falling like a man’s chest in all manner of green: lime and moss and lichen and oak leaf and fern and grass and ivy, all fed by water, by rain and river and tributary and flood and channel; all crossed by bridge and footpath and railway and road; and houses and ruins and churches and cottages all line the way, provoking thoughts of holidays and saints and pilgrimages and above all the thought of the sea – but not yet.

first there are cities and suburbs and towns and villages and hamlets and farms and steam trains and dogs and sewage works and buddleia and blackberries and nettles and cows and pylons and hedgerows and crops and meadows and gateways and pathways and highways; and time passes slowly while landscape passes swiftly, and hillocks and inclines and valleys and dips are so different from the city, so luscious and verdant and alive and I am alive and wondering at the weeds and trees and blossom and the country, and the escape and release from the city and the grey, to see green and growing the plants and trees, the grazing cattle and the scudding clouds.

but I want to see the sea – not long now, to see hills become cliffs, and gulls and red stone and pebbles and waves eternally lapping on the pebbles and memories and nostalgia and the future and the sea, immense and powerful and beautiful and that part of me locked safely away until this journey, now bursting out and longing for salt and the sea…