What Remains?

Trog with May Tree in blossom, Hampshire.

The Anniversary celebration at Reading Priory was well attended with probably over 60 people circulating through the building and garden. Lots of singing, eating and talking and many memories of the past twenty years were shared. Midway through the afternoon I was whisked away to stay a night with long time practitioners, and regular blog readers, Tony and Virginia – and Trog. With the warmth finally reaching our shores everything in the garden is bloomin’ lovely as you can see in the picture. This mornings walk, out across the fields with Tony and Trog, was a magical treat for me. There were sights and smells, flowers and birds, trees and wet meadows ringing memories from my early years growing up in the south of England. Wonderful!

Now, I don’t quite know how to say this. I wrote a whole post about it last night and promptly sent it to the Valley of The Lost Post! Yep, I am still doing daft things like that, especially when I’m writing close to midnight. Anyway. What will stay with me from our celebration is this. It would seem that once one has spent time in a place, and joined hearts with people, there is a sense in which one doesn’t actually leave. This thought was confirmed during a conversation I had yesterday. I’d wondered about my leave taking, or lack of it, over the years since I was Prior at Reading. There was never an event that marked my leaving. The circumstances at the time made this impossible. Talking in the back-garden, with a woman I know well, about this lack of closure she said, Well Rev. Mugo, you never really left! And I’ve known that all along, it just took a wise woman to point that out.

And I guess there will always be a part of me who remains in, and loves, the countryside I grew up in. Perhaps I should go and see if that treasure is still buried under the holly tree in deepest West Sussex. Even so young we have a sense of history and of our enduring place in it.

I am not talking about nostalgia by the way.

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One thought on “What Remains?”

  1. I know how that goes, after living 11 years in Germany, when I go home to Colorado and the mountains I don’t feel the pull of nostalgia, I just have the sense of being present in the presence of a familiar and cherished place. There is no ache when leaving anymore, although there is much joy in going there.

    I also read a line from a poem by Wei Ying-wu that reminded me once again of the “standing on the rock in the river”:

    “I face the flowing water and cultivate tranquil thoughts”

    And the end of the poem reflects our connection to friends:

    “sometimes I recall old friends and wonder where they are
    I open the gate at dawn and greet the welcome light.”

    This is from Red Pine’s translation from “In Such Hard Times, the Poetry of Wei Ying-wu”

    Good to know that you are doing well!

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