A Wirral Meditation

I tell myself I’ve come here to think something through. Something I’ve been thinking about that could do with a walk to get it straight. But as soon as I arrive I know the place isn’t going to put up with that. Because the place itself wants to be noticed. And in the noticing my nagging thoughts melt away. Which is probably what I’ve really come here for anyway.

I’m on the Shining Shore, the walk around Thurstaston that’s been one of my main meditation places, alone and with Sarah, for many years now.

It’s a grey day.

But it’s Springtime anyway.

I’m in the middle of my week and a half of not working and I’ve come for an afternoon out on the Wirral. Some walking, some reading and my lunch is in my bag.

Leucojum, always out here this time of year.

‘Big Snowdrops’ as I think of them.

St Bartholomew’s at Thurstaston.

Usually I have a sit in the churchyard here, but the benches are all roped off at the moment because of falling tiles from the roof.

Daffodils finishing now but lots of other wildflowers are up. “The pink is a garden escape, not a wildflower” says Sarah.

White Garlic Mustard – “If you crush the leaves they smell of garlic” says Sarah.

Blue Forget Me Not as well as Red Dead Nettle

You’ll be realising by now that these are not strictly their botanical names. I’ll ask Sarah to go through them with me when she gets in, then I’ll look as if I know what I’m talking about! Sarah’s identifications now added.

Pink Garden Escape! Actually known as ‘Honesty.’

Vinca Major, known as Periwinkle.

Yes ‘Keep to the path.’ A sign that looks like it’s been admonishing people since Victoria was Queen.

Gorse, the May Bush.

Black thorn

Close up

The tide is in down at the shore.

A Christmas tree plantation.

Spring growth almost enclosing the pathway here.

Sudden curious company.

Not such an admonitory notice.

As dry as I’ve ever seen it here at The Dungeon.

This ancient woodland.

Full of new growth, Sycamore.

By now my mind is full of observing the springtime, the quiet miracle of it, the planet renewing itself. The colours that only happen just now, like these newborn leaves.

How many times I’ve walked along the side of this ravine?

And never noticed this before.

Hello Lily.

Time for lunch, a sit and a read.

Patricia Highsmith, my companion for all of this week.

Looking up from my book.

Brief sunshine.

Walking on, downhill towards the Dee Estuary.

New life in sunlight.

Tiny delicate Dog Violet.

I’ve always called this a perfect tree.

Still perfect.

Though a limb has been lost through wind and gravity.

Lesser Celandine.

A sheltering place.

Close up.

Black thorn blossom

In excelsis.

Briefly on the Wirral Way, where the trains used to run.

Hawthorn

Dandelion at Heswall Field.

Down by the shore now.

The tide is just beginning to turn but I’ve already decided I don’t want to walk along the shore today. Now the boulder clay cliffs are seriously eroding the beach is often full of heavy, sticky boulder clay, making walking along it less than a pleasure sometimes.

It’s windy up here and rain is beginning to blow in on the wind.

Serious rain approaching from the Atlantic.

I stand, watch and feel it coming in.

Until the sky and the sea are both water.

An elemental afternoon in one of my favourite places. No big conclusions were drawn or even considered. I am human, alive in this place in the springtime of the year. Which is enough.

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