Tuesday 4 October 2011

Spun Gold

What a truly extra-extraordinary week we have had here in Blighty. Waking day after long day to golden syrupy amber light. first squeezing round the edges of the blinds and then pouring in, pools of  honey collecting in the folds of the bed covers.

I have been stupefied by this sudden wealth. All seems heightened, as though the world is suddenly sharper, magnified and it has never looked more glorious. Time seems stretched, elongated such golden days that seem endless and frozen in time. Each morning I have  had that fizzy, frilly, summer-saulty tummy that I felt as child as the summer holidays stretched before me. The feeling you have when you head out early into a day full of so much promise.

Waking early, I have been striding out with Mr.Boodle on ever longer walks, my heart soaring in the warmth bouncing from the baked soil. The fields are golden stubble now and the leaves are beginning to change into their Autumn hues.I have been very quiet, dazed I think or perhaps a little drunk on the light, but bursting with joy inside!

My thoughts have turned to Thomas Hardy, William Barnes and Vaughan-Williams and I think perhaps I have felt a little of their rapture at the English landscape.

On Sunday I heard a poem on the radio by Sylvia Townsend-Warner and it seemed to me to be the perfect epitaph for this strange glorious week. Summing up beautifully my own response, especially the transient nature of each passing second and not wanting to miss a molecule of it....


Go the long way, the long way home
Over this gate the leads where the three lanes meeting, delay
Look well at that field of hay
Eye closely the drilled loam
Finger the springing corn

Count every petal of the hedgerows and the guelder rose
Under the bosom of the blossomed elder
Stay, linger, browse deep on all this green and all this growing
Slant cheek to the sweet air
With deep greetings survey the full leaf boughs, like water flowing
The corn waves hurrying uphill as the wind blows

Look overhead into the blue
Look round watch this bird fly and that bird settle
with slow treading and sure greet the assuring ground
Go slowly, for slowly goes this midsummer day
And this is the last time you will come this way

Go the long way, the long way home
Aye and when you arrive and the sighing gate falls to
Go slowly, go heedfully your garden through
Breathe in the spice pinks
Turn face up to the soft ripe rose that wags aloft

Nod to the old rake, rub thumb across spades edge
Measure the potato hills and the tall bean rows
Pledge cherry and currant bush
Pledge lily and lily leaf spear
And rebel the nettles waving along the hedge
Look closely, look well, see how your garden grows

Ponder yourself, even enter the secret cell of this years honeycomb
Look long, for long has this been yours, long been dear
This is the last time you will stand here

Go the long way, the long way home
Though you are weary hasten not ghost to ground
Tarry this last hour out
Take your last look around
Greet finally the earth, greet leaf and root and stock
Stand in your last hour, poised like the dandelion clock
Frail ghost of the gaudy raggle-taggle that you were
Stand up oh homing phantom
Stand up intact and declare the goodness of earth
The greatest good you have found
Er the wind jolts you and you vanish like the foam.

And now? The spell has broken, I think this last week I may have been visited by Rumplestiltskin! He has had me spinning golden thread........

I too have been taking the long way.........
.....home xXx


  1. an 'Indian Summer' perhaps
    it's the light isn't it? long, golden, honey, you describe it so perfectly
    hope you and the Boodle are enjoying getting to know your new landscape

  2. What a wonderful way to start a day with your lovely post......I devoured the poem.....I am going to have to keep that in my library.....and I know exactly the feeling you were talking about as a child.... so happy you've had such lovely weather!!!! Thank you!!

  3. Such a beautiful post Sarah - you put so well into words how I've been feeling this past week or so. Golden honey - yum - as if it is dripping from the sky.

    Nina x

  4. A lovely post that was a joy to read. M x

  5. OOh! I have been so glad you've had your Indian summer in England, as we've been having it too here in France - I was feeling greedy. I wrote a poem to capture some light today (our weather hasn't broken yet) so it was really inspiring to read this excellent 'Go the long way' poem. Thanks.

  6. Oh my this is pure joy my friend....love your stunning images and words today. xoxoxo HUGS

  7. It has been all about the light for me, so golden as you say, and what sunsets, I really don't ever remember so many beautiful, fiery ones in the UK. Joy!

    Someone said to me today, snow by November!!!!

  8. me too - skipping down to the workshop delighting in the unexpected sunshine!
    What a treat it's been....fee x

  9. Beautiful poem, such wonderful images.
    Carol xx

  10. Lovely light in those photos.

  11. What a beautiful, beautiful post; the poem had me in tears.

  12. Beautiful poem and photos to match.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Lisa x

  13. Hello :) I haven't been over for a while - and my gosh your blog is looking really beautiful. Yes - what an amazing week. Pools of golden light everywhere, and all so precious because it feels borrowed. (Oh and it's gone now... ah well!)
    Love Charlotte

  14. What a beautiful poem! I have printed it out and have it posted next to my computes, not only as a reminder to take the long way home but also to stop and savor the moment, to relax and take it all in, and to enjoy the bounty of Autumn. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece of work.


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