“The light always comes back…”

Early morning sun and mist on sports field, Collins Park, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Morning sun breaking through the mist. Collins Park, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

My morning walks have become longer again, and are beginning to require a certain military precision in their organisation. Keys — tick. Woolly layers — tick. Toes strapped (experiment in postural correction) — tick. Fitness tracker, headphones, smartphone, new podcasts downloaded — yes, yes, yes and yes.

I’m a huge fan of BBC Radio 4 podcasts, and this morning the Desert Island Discs of Scottish writer and poet Liz Lochhead provided the soundtrack as I set off into the mist that mantled Greenhithe.

Early morning, Greenhithe Road. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Early morning, Greenhithe Road. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Sunrise behind the cabbage trees. Collins Park, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Dr Suess-like cabbage trees, Collins Park, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

The title of this post is from the poem In the Mid-Midwinter, by Liz Lochhead. It seems particularly appropriate today as nature has already bestowed on Greenhithe an almost white-out mist, bright winter sunshine and now a sky of “dreich greyness” as the rain approaches.

In the Mid-Midwinter
Poem

‘Tis the year’s midnight, and it is the day’s – from John Donne’s
‘A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy’s Day, being the Shortest Day’.

At midday on the year’s midnight
into my mind came
I saw the new moon late yestreen
wi the auld moon in her airms though, no,
there is no moon of course,
there’s nothing very much of anything to speak of
in the sky except a gey dreich greyness
rain-laden over Glasgow and today
there is the very least of even this for us to get
but
the light comes back
the light always comes back
and this begins tomorrow with however many minutes more of sun and serotonin.
Meanwhile
there will be the winter moon for us to love the longest,
fat in the frosty sky among the sharpest stars,
and lines of old songs we can’t remember
why we know
or when first we heard them
will aye come back
once in a blue moon to us
unbidden,
bless us with their long-travelled light.

Liz Lochhead

Written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally.

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27 thoughts on ““The light always comes back…”

      • I’m nearer to poetry after my mother’s death in January this year. She was passionate about it (and especially about Robert Burns, with whom she shared her birthday). In her last years she was a member of a poetry club and used to read out other people’s poetry once a month. But when I was young, she used to write very long (often silly!) poems for me and my friends.

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      • I’m so sorry to hear of your mother’s death. I love that she wrote poetry and would share other people’s. There is something very special about poetry (and music) in helping us deal with deep emotions that other art forms don’t really achieve for me.

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  1. Su, the image is a soft and brilliant reminder of nature’s dimensions and triumphs. Really enjoyed your description, and the idea that your walks are becoming more and more apart of your day and life. Happy Photo Challenge.

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  2. Pingback: Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Nature (and Spring’s Peony as Inspiration) | Lens and Pens by Sally

    • I’d been saying that for months, and only really got off my bum a few weeks ago. I have a recently-diagnosed arthritic knee which is both a problem for walking, and a reason to do it. A visit to the podiatrist for orthotics has (literally) put the spring back in my step.

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      • I wear thingies in my shoes after several problems with achilles tendonitis which caused me to limp! I really must do half an hours walk each day when I am not in the garden so joints don’t stiffen up so much. Getting older sucks, though to be fair I have had a dodgy knees since my early twenties.

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  3. How early are you out there? What time is the sun rising for you now? I still get so confused thinking that you’re getting colder while we are (in theory) getting warmer. Today we have the heat on—a first for June for sure.

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    • Sunrise is around 7.30ish, so it’s not a hardship to be out walking in time to see it. Hope your summer arrives in earnest soon. Our winter is being totally weird; freezing cold one day and almost tropical the next. We were at the beach a couple of weekends ago, seriously considering swimming. 🙂

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    • I stopped for a long while too, and am very glad I started again. It is much easier for me now with the boy-child grown up and left home; no having to be the human alarm clock, and no breakfasts to make. 🙂

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      • Exactly. Well, I have several years ahead still of being the time manager for too many people. I know how fast it goes so I’ll just try to enjoy it. My hubby did get me a treadmill which I thought would help, but it’s really not very satisfying compared to being outside. I’m sure my routine will be easier once my little one is in school this fall. It’s the big K for us now.

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