Spirit of Arodene, I call to you!
Attic whose walls I painted sunshine yellow,
Study where I sat at oak desk reading
Cozy corner where I sipped early tea with Nanny
Bay window splendid with tinselled Christmas tree
Parent’s room where we knelt round the bed for morning prayers—
Arodene, your gracious rooms, your comfortable spaces
Taught me ways of hospitality and ease.
May your walls ever ring with children’s laughter!
Spirit of the hearth, I call to you!
Fireplace Dad designed with Suffolk White brick,
Place where Yule log burned, where crumpets were toasted
And forty five New Years welcomed.
Hearth where we sat sharing memories of Dad
May your warmth remain in my heart!
Spirit of the garden, I call to you!
Fragrant arch covered in rambling rose,
Peace roses lifting dewy heads to greet the day
Lawn where I sunbathed, getting freckles instead of tan,
Terrace where sheltie Magnus barked at imaginary sheep,
Orange body ready for tiger pounce,
You taught me to create beauty wherever I go.
Spirit of the horse chestnut tree, I call to you!
Your glorious candles lit our springtime
We gathered your tough brown conkers for childhood games.
May you be protected!
Spirit of Christchurch oaks, I call to you,
Home of woodpecker and tawny owl!
Your winter shapes stark against twilit sky
Your tender budbreak and your sheltering shade,
My girlhood friends who never fell out with me,
Your gnarled forms taught me of strength and steadfastness.
Spirit of Orwell estuary, I call to you!
I rowed and sailed your channels,
Walked your shores.
When the train pulled in sight of you
Heart leapt, for I was home.
By your sunset dappled waters
I heard the call to heal.
May you ever flow within me!
Spirit of the saltmarsh, I call to you,
Where samphire and sea aster grow!
Mud glistening in sun at low tide
By the Orwell, the
Skylark hovering as he sings
Cry of gulls and pipe of meadow pipit
Oystercatchers feeding along tideline.
Your tang lingers in my nose,
Your wide skies taught me the way of spacious heart.
Rooms we filled with laughter, tears and song,
Places I touched with feet, with hands, with oars,
Where I listened, dreamed and meditated,
Where I walked with those I love,
Blooming in your care like the peace rose and the sea aster,
You have shaped me and I have shaped you.
Stay with me, spirits of place,
Let us walk together still!