I walked last night on Port Meadow. An extraordinary experience! The blazing ball of sun slowly floated into the Thames, colouring it crimson.
An amazing natural event I have too often missed! Spectacular beauty lavished on anyone who would take a few minutes to observe it.
Wild geese arrived honking, with a beating of wings, settling in to their night homes on the river. Seagulls flew overhead, dropping shells, having eaten the mussel.
Graceful swans with impossibly elongated necks tucked them under their wings, ready to sleep. Baby ducks followed their mothers. Golden retrievers bounded.
There was perfect peace.
The sky stretched huge massive and endless over the flat expanse of Port Meadow. It reminded me of the Big Sky when we drove through Montana.
And I kept thinking:
The Heavens declare the glory of God
The firmament shows forth the work of his hands
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world. (Psalm 19)
And here’s a poem by R. S. Thomas, about a similar experience
It was like a church to me.
I entered it on soft foot,
Breath held like a cap in the hand.
It was quiet.
What God there was made himself felt,
Not listened to, in clean colours
That brought a moistening of the eye,
In a movement of the wind over grass.
There were no prayers said. But stillness
Of the heart’s passions — that was praise
Enough; and the mind’s cession
Of its kingdom. I walked on,
Simple and poor, while the air crumbled
And broke on me generously as bread.