We walked, Dog and me, through Dunwich Forest
and Westleton Heath
This poem sort of drifted into my head and fitted both my mood and the scenery
Wherever we place our faith, in God or nature or another’s face
Once verdant boughs now sad skinned wraiths begrudge permissive youth its place
December’s death has gripped the land, once luscious leaves just left to rot
Brittle skeletal, hope’s becalmed in our lost Eden that God forgot
We fight the urge to hurry past, desert cold Earth under pleated sky
And turn away from its last gasp, all dry and seer where no cloud will cry.
Yet stop we must, hope’s always there in amongst this season’s dying
It draws us close, it makes us care as life prepares for a new year’s living.
Spring forecloses on Winter’s debt, enough to pay for Summer’s lease
Succour comes borne on a breath that turns the key for each year’s release.
We stopped by the quaint church in Dunwich.
It’s not old – 1850s – a reminder of how many churches have been lost to the sea in Dunwich down the years. JWM Turner painted this
There’s a relic of that church, a preserved flying buttress that sits in the churchyard.
But the most fascinating part of this little church are the remains of a 16th century leprosy hospital.
We don’t think about leprosy as a British, or even European disease but it was a terror here just as much as it remains so in parts of Africa.
The congregation regularly collect finds for leprosy charities, a touching link to a less pleasant past.
We did enjoy the walk, Dog and me, even though all the usual cafes are closed at this time of year. Maybe that’s a good preparation for Christmas….
So it’s goodbye from me…