Saturday, 11 May 2013

Find the time to Stand and Stare.

Riggindale Valley


When I first posted the pictures Steve took of the Golden Eagle at Riggindale I mentioned to a friend (Ray @scafellhikehow long we'd sat waiting to see it and he reminded me of the poem "Leisure" by WH Davies, which I have loved for many years.  

The poem has stuck with me this week as I've reflected on our walk around Riggindale; while we were sitting in the sun for the best part of 2 hours only one person paused nearby and peered hopefully into the valley and they were gone in a few minutes.  We saw a few other folk up on Kidsty Pike but none of them stayed longer than 5 minutes tops and by 4pm we had the entire valley to ourselves.

48 hours later I was in central London with thousands of people racing in every direction.  I don't dislike London at all, it has some spectacular architecture and hidden corners, I'm just not very good with the the crowds of people, always in a hurry and seemingly oblivious to what's around them.

WH Davies doesn't suggest you "pause and glance for a moment" he asks you to "stand and stare".  Take time out of the rushing around to truly appreciate your surroundings. How many of us have asked "Is it May already?  Hasn't the year flown by?" Life has a habit of doing that, racing past us as if it was never going to run out.  So, in the middle of the chaos of modern life, may I invite you to pour a drink, put your feet up and stare at a selection of photographs from two quite different places:  Riggindale and Gray's Inn Road, London.

Leisure - WH Davies




WHAT is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?






No time to stand beneath the boughs,

And stare as long as sheep and cows:



No time to see, when woods we pass,


Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:



No time to see, in broad daylight,


Streams full of stars, like skies at night:



No time to turn at Beauty's glance,


And watch her feet, how they can dance:



No time to wait till her mouth can


Enrich that smile her eyes began?




A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.