Friday, 2 April 2010

Just Passing Through

I love the writing of Roger Deakin, who sadly died in August 2006 at the age of only 63. In his last book Wildwood - A Journey Through Trees he describes a shepherd's hut tucked away in a field, slowly being overgrown and returning back to nature. He often spent nights sleeping there - camping out and listening to the branches of an ash tree "which strokes the roof and plays tunes on the stove-pipe chimney." He says something very moving about camping out:

"There's more truth about a camp than a house. Planning laws need not worry the improvising builder because temporary structures are more beautiful anyway and you don't need planning for them. There's more truth about a camp because that is the position we are in. The house represents what we ourselves would like to be on earth, permanent, rooted, here for eternity. But a camp represents the true reality of things: we're just passing through."

I wonder if he knew he had a brain tumor.

Last weekend I went to Pembrokeshire in our camper-van and saw this lovely old boat, doing exactly what Roger's hut was doing - returning the wood back to nature.

From Reflections of a Curlew

I thought about Roger as I looked at it and wished I had his profound and deep sense of connection to nature. It grounds you in life and death like nothing else.

This is holy week and life and death are very much in mind. I thought again about Roger Deakin and his statement "the true reality of things, we are just passing through" and thought about Pilate's famous question (or statement) at Jesus's trial - "What is truth?"

Happy Easter.

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