Last year I wrote about the rooks we see and hear from our garden. Their constant presence, and that of crows in the fields around us was probably what prompted me to read Crow Country by Mark Cocker. It is a fascinating book in many ways but today I have been thinking of what he writes about his connection to both the place where he lives now and where he lived as a child.

He talks of feeling a sense of possession, of ownership of a particular, familiar territory. He describes what I feel about this part of Lincolnshire where I have fetched up. It belongs to me and I belong to it; ever more so as I learn my way around the back roads and through tiny villages. The shape of the land, turns in the road, particular trees are become familiar, even as the views, the colours and the light still make me shout in surprise and joy.

I remember feeling this way about London when I was a teenager and later, in my twenties, when finally I lived there. I revelled in my growing knowledge of the city, each confident step a claiming of it as my own.

I wrote a while back of imagining coming back to this place where I live now at some time when I no longer lived here, sinking to my knees and plunging my hands into the earth like an exile returned. I go further; I imagine that I could, just now, walk out into the nearest ploughed field, lie on the rich, cold earth and disappear, merge, become a part of it. And in that imaginary desire to become one with the dense clay there is such a lightness and a freedom. This connection, this relationship requires nothing of me but love. I possess and am possessed: equilibrium.

3 thoughts on “Possession

  1. Reblogged this on Flat Earth, Big Sky and commented:

    Well I still don’t seem to have got around to saying Goodbye, Blog on a definite day, as I meant to. Family demands have escalated, leaving even less time for this sort of thinking and writing. But tonight I am, unusually, alone and have only just realised today is the winter solstice – it just happened half an hour before I wrote this. I always look forward to it but life just now is so over full that I might have missed it. I have no energy to write about the turning year, the journey into darkness and returning light. But this post – first written in March – seems appropriate for this day of ending and beginning. Along with There… and back again, it marks a turning point in my understanding of what my move has meant – both a start of a new life and a new connection with the old. Happy solstice to anyone still reading here.

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