Thought for the day – Earthly pleasure.

How blessed am I to be able to walk this earth. To feel the sun on my face and the wind at my back. The sounds of birdsong, children playing and just the hum of daily life.

How wondrous it is to have this fertile, solid ground at my feet, to be supported by this majestic and generous earth.

How honoured am I to call this place home, to benefit from its fruit. How lucky am I to be in the midst of its awesome beauty.

Sam Cannon

Bike Ride – Undiscovered joys between Gloucester and Stroud.

It really feels like summer has arrived. Rather than cycle home straight from work, I took a detour, out on one of Gloucester’s many cycle routes. It reminded me how much of a “country” city really is. Gloucester has so many parks and green spaces, not to mention the majestic Robinswood Hill which is completely within the city limits. It was brilliant to discover what felt like secretive cycle ways and green spaces that seem little used. As I cycled from Tuffley to Robinswood, I kept discovering new cycle routes which I never knew existed and all perfectly safe. I emerged on the Stroud Road near to the Waldorf Steiner school and Pound Farm nursery. My curiosity led me down a lane, passed the school and then on to a gorgeous little church called Saint Margarets (pictured). Unfortunately, the church was closed but the grounds were beautiful and very serene. It felt like a little Oasis on the city’s outskirts. The graveyard was very peaceful, a couple of lovely benches to tempt the tired walker, cyclist or visitor. Some tremendous views onto the slopes of the Cotswold Hills to the south and south east and then to the Forest of Dean and May Hill to the west. As I reflected on these views, it reminded me I am neither a city lad, nor a country lad but a mix of both. Where city and country meet, you find the best of two worlds. All in my backyard.DSC_0011

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Spring is the time to jump up and dance,
For nesting birds and courting romance.
We dispose of the old and bring in the new,
So April showers can sweep on through.
May’s blossom shines like city lights,
To precede a season of milder nights.

Summer sets sway and nature reaches peak,
Carnivals or quiet fields for lovers to seek.
Across the land, the sun sets late,
Parks fill up with joy that people create.
In search of the sun, we explore other lands,
To meet the ocean and its soft golden sands.

Oh for Autumn and its rustic charm,
Harvests are yielded in farm after farm.
Crisp leaves gently fall into the street,
Providing comfort under aching feet.
Warm days yet colder nights embrace the nation,
Signalling the bird world’s annual migration.

To winter-time and Christmas tide,
Animals hibernate and people hide.
Cosy evenings spent at fireplaces,
Inviting rapport by warming our faces.
A seasons of seasons from time to time,
Where frozen and mild days fall out of line.

 31st May 1997

Secret Garden

Flowers bloom in spectacular colour,
They fill a garden with natural wonder.
A sight, a smell so incredibly wondrous,
Next to grass, green and lustrous.

Set amidst a Tudor-style maze,
Ideal for creatures in which to laze.
A secret door beckons,
For those that look towards the heavens.

A might oak door stands aloof,
Luring the inquisitive garden sleuth.
Almost obscured by evergreen,
Hiding treasures that must be seen.

No secret keys or clues to find,
Not just a game of any kind.
No obvious stones in which to uncover,
Just three magic words for the garden lover.

So stand poised and softly utter,
Those magic words you shouldn’t just mutter.
For only those that have a clue,
Will move the oak, and walk on through.

Just think quietly and concentrate,
For the oak door is patient and can always wait.
Quiet meditation must be attained,
If paradise is to be found, then retained.

Once through, the mortal stands aghast,
Reviving dreams long since past.
Avenues of trees line up in majesty,
A heavenly sight for anyone to see.

Flowers dance along rolling green verges,
Resplendent in colour, aided by sunlit surges.
Garden furniture and ornaments abound,
For us to sit and gaze all around.

Birds of Paradise, their wings ablaze,
Like the phoenix it withstands heat and haze.
They usher you toward the garden’s centre,
A place of rest, a peaceful venture.

A crustal blue stream sparkles bright,
To guide you to a magnificent light.
An eternal fountain and its holy waters,
They heal Mothers, Fathers, Sons and Daughters.

At the end of the garden, pick one door from seven,
For only one provides that stairway to heaven.

26th May 1997