Wednesday, May 20, 2015

An Evening in the English Countryside

Today I am joining Linda's Wednesday Wit and Wisdom for the second time.

This is my photo, taken 15 years ago:


Whenever I look at this photo I travel back in my mind to those single trips to England I took in the late eighties and early nineties. I was hopelessly in love with this beautiful island, its landscape and its people. I often flew to London for long weekends with my friends, and in June, when the days were the longest, I usually spent about three weeks in England - mostly in the Cotswolds and in Norfolk. I traveled on my own and that was exactly the way I liked it.

This photo was taken in Northleach, one of the less touristy villages in the Cotswolds. I stayed in a lovely Bed and Breakfast where I returned to every summer. My favorite time was in the evening, after I had dinner. The days were long, and I loved to walk through the Northleach churchyard and further on into the meadows. The sheep were here every day, and their calm "bah bah" accompanied me on my silent walks. I sat somewhere in the meadow and just took it in - the sheep, the quietness, the wind rustling in the leaves of the old trees, the birds singing their evening songs (I particularly remember the blackbirds). At some time the church bells started to ring - the beautiful change ringing that you find only on the British Isles. It is such a special sound! If you have never heard it, here's a short video. For me this kind of change ringing belongs to an evening in the English countryside. It gives you peacefulness, calms you down and just lets you be in the moment.

I remember feeling completely whole and at peace with myself. Those evenings were magical, and when I feel a bit low nowadays I can go back there in my mind and recall the quietness. I often only returned - reluctantly - when it was starting to get dark. I never feared walking through the cemetery after the sun had set, and I never had any worries being out there in the countryside, just me and the sheep. Sometimes I met a farmer and we talked for a while, had a lovely exchange. Something to feed my soul. Sometimes I would stop at a pub for a pint when I got back to the village, talking to the locals and playing a round or two of Jenga. It was my vacation, I had left all my worries behind, I didn't think about my work, I lived in the moment. I was blissfully young.


Tomorrowlady

I was also invited to link to Two Shoes Tuesday - thank you for the invitation!

Two Shoes Tuesdsay





12 comments:

Nancy Chan said...

It was so much safer in the good old days where we can walk alone even in the dark without any fear. Thank you for sharing about your holidays in England and your sweet memories of those days spent in the countryside.

Karen S. said...

We all should so lucky to first experience and then relive over and over. I have some near to this, but this would be my perfect idea of total bliss, this very place and all the sheep along the way. Thanks for bringing this to life for us as well. I took in every word as if it were real.

Josie Two Shoes said...

What lovely memories to accompany this beautiful picture that does indeed radiate peacefulness! Wouldn't it be nice if we could travel back to our earlier years now and then for a short visit? Your photo and story most definitely qualify for the "beautiful" writing prompt at Two Shoes Tuesday today, feel free to come and link your post up there too if you like, we'd be happy to have you join us!

Elephant's Child said...

Wonderful memories to hug to yourself on dark days and nights. And a lovely image to trigger the remembering...

Sally H said...

A wonderful photo and lovely memories. My Mum was a bell ringer for many years. She needed a box to stand on to reach the ropes, as she was all of 4ft 10 inches tall! The only time I got scared near the graveyard was when I didn't spot a barn owl just above my head and it suddenly screeched! I ran all the way home, lol!

GlorV1 said...

How wonderful Carola. I was lost in your words for a bit there. What wonderful memories and awesome that you travelled alone as you did. I want to be you.:)

Mary Hill said...

Your description is so beautiful. I want to visit the English countryside one of these days. :)

Patricia said...

Wonderful to have such lovely memories. Your picture is so sweet...looks like the sheep were posing just for you.

Linda Kay said...

Carola, thanks for sharing those wonderful memories and the photo...and for joining in with me on Wednesday!

Val said...

Beautiful. I love England, as well, my motherland, so to speak. The city of London is exciting and fun but the pastoral grounds in the countryside bring peace and contentment.

Jeanne said...

Love your countryside shots of this beautiful land!

Chandra Eswaran said...

Very scenic country side, Carola! Nicely photographed!!
Have a Wonderful Day!
Peace :)