Clouds

08/24/2009

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

-Joni Mitchell-

My walk yesterday took me through the meadows to Grantchester Orchard then between the wheat/rye fields of Grantchester Road.  The sky was the most magnificent blue.  Here, more days than not, the sky is this color.  At home, we call it “Carolina Blue” sky, here I’m calling it “British Blue”.  It is different.  I don’t know how, but it is bluer and cleaner.  The clouds are fluffier and more cheerful.  These pictures are completely untouched (save for cropping).

Entering the meadows:

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Approaching, and amongst, the cows:

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I wondered why this one was away from his friends, insisting on eating in the prickly thistle instead of the lush grass.  Puzzling.  I hoped he was just unique, needing some space, something like that.  Apparently the heads of the thistle are tasty to some cows and you can train cows to eat weeds.

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And removing the color….the countryside takes on another side of simple, contrasting beauty.

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Leaving the meadow, towards the village of Grantchester, here is Manor Farm’s shaggy pony:

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There is a very old, very beautiful church I like to steal away into.  The cemetery is beautiful.  Ironically, I always feel very alive there- the quiet, the green, the old stones and stories of the old souls revive me.

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Sitting on a bench in the back of the cemetery- large brick wall behind, small hedge leading to an open field in front.  A safe, sheltered place to pause.  Something about being around the old graves that help keep thoughts meaningful and pleasant and true.  Great accountability.

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Walking home a different way, up the little two lane Grantchester Road.

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The clouds dressed up this field of dirt enough to take my breath away for a second.  Maybe it’s just the expanse of things here?  In the city there are no vast spaces.  I think I’m just coming to realise how much urbanity suffocates me…

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Harvested wheat/rye field.

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Remember that Charlotte blackberry bush that brought me so much joy?  There are thousands here.  Almost 3/4 of a mile of my walk home was solid, 6ft high blackberry bushes.  Amazing.  There is a sermon (and a cobbler) here somewhere.  I had a snack or twenty.

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I met a sweet grandmotherly woman at church Sunday.  I asked how long she had been in Cambridge.  She glanced at her husband and said, “He brought us here 24 years ago (from Italy) for a short time of study, and we just never left.  There is something magical about this place.  We love it.”

I smiled and nodded.  She replied, “You’ve noticed it then, haven’t you?”

Yes, I have.

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