Today, while driving back from Newcastle in the late afternoon light I marveled silently at the moors of Northumberland unrolling into the far distance. Perhaps I’m appreciating them all the more knowing that I will be leaving England for Canada in just a few days and will not be back for a year or more. An email was awaiting me when I arrived at Throssel with a web page attached. In it was this poem. It fits the moment, its arrival is timely.
”Somehow it seems sufficientto see and hear whatever coming & going is,losing the self to the victoryof stones and trees,of bending sandpit lakes, crescentround groves of dwarf pine.”
-A. A. Ammons(1926-2001)
Pinus mugo, is frequently listed under the variant spellings P. mughus & P. mugho, & the species is synonymous with P. montanus. A common mispelling adds an extra letter to this pine’s name so that it becomes Mungo or Mungho, after Saint Mungo, Bishop of Strathclyde, Scotland, circa 540 C.E. Saint Mungo’s name means “Dear One.” One of his first reported miracles was restoring a serf’s pet robin to life after ruffians had killed it. The correct name Mugo, however, is of such old origin that the meaning is lost to time, but may be an old Italian dialect word for “mountain,” or possibly tracks back to a Nordic word meaning “misty” for growing in mists of high mountain plateaus & ledges. http://www.paghat.com/mugo.html
After thought: Is it not heartening to know that at one time serf’s keep pet robins!