I received an email from a friend of mine in the Bentley Drivers Club and as we are not able to use our cars at the moment, he described a walk taken in the countryside together with a portion of the wonderful Robert Browning poem Home Thoughts from Abroad, (with its often miss quoted first line!) which I think summed up the spirit needed to get us through the current situation, I hope you enjoy his letter.
Hope you like this musings from a 87 year old window cleaner down to just one Bentley. Please feel free to send it on if it stirs you.
Since the lock down Margaret and I have been taking the opportunity to explore the wonderful surrounding Hertfordshire countryside by walking as far as two oldies can.
Today it was North Mymms Park with its untold acres of Greenfields surrounded by Woods not far removed and untouched since pre Norman times. Numerous coppices and complimented by the pleasure of being able to hear the seemingly inexhaustible rich clear sound of bird song without the noise and fumes of the A1M. Was this really Good Friday 2020?
With this thought, and while taking a moment to rest and trying to maintain this magical moment of tranquillity we noticed the 400-year-old plus North Mymms Tower of St Marys Church peeping through the tops of the trees. On further exploring we noticed the memorial erected in 1920 to all those brave souls who gave their all in the dreadful wars of WW1 and WW2 resisting tyranny and the very reason I am able to write this.
Memories of my boyhood of the dark days in Finsbury Park North London and the 40s blitz came hastening back of the time, when just as all seemed hopelessly lost, somewhere in this old brainbox Robert Browning’s epic poem that also sustained fellow countrymen and women in WW1 and WW2 came back.
***Oh, to be in England Now that April’s there, And whoever wakes in England Sees, some morning, unaware, That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf, While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough In England – now!! ***
This is the England I knew and remembered when we alone stood against Nazi tyranny and so proudly wore our Cubs and Scouts uniforms freely giving our allegiance to the King/Queen.
I have tried to savour and hold on to the moment and record it as very soon we will be back to normal (what is normal) and instants like this will be lost for ever.
Future generations will never know the pride of being English. The World should be on its knee’s thanking this tiny Island, Waterloo 1815, WW1, WW2, alone, we gave our all.
Please Think On This and Thanks for your time
Grumpy, but proud Old Roy