There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Oxfordshire Spring

"And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,
She needs not June for beauty's heightening."
~ Matthew Arnold

As beautiful as the 'dreaming spires' of Oxford are, I often long for the countryside.

Eastern Washington skyline
A country girl at heart, I'm used to the wide open spaces and big sky of the American West, especially the skies of Eastern Washington where I've lived most of my adult life.

The foothills and valleys of Eastern Washington

Oxfordshire, May 2013
The wonderful thing, and it's saving grace for me, is that Oxford is surrounded by countryside and within a ten minute drive the sky starts to open up, green fields appear, and I feel as though I can breathe again.

Every two weeks or so, Stuart and I point the car west on the A40, so I can get my sky/green field fix.  He never complains though, especially since there's always scones, clotted cream, and strawberry jam waiting for us wherever we end up.

The brook that gives Swinbrook it's name.
Last week we had German friends staying with us who come every year for two weeks, to walk in and around Oxford and the Cotswolds.  We invited them along for our fortnightly foray into the countryside and showed them what Stuart and I think is our perfect afternoon off. It began with afternoon tea and a wander around the Burford Garden Centre, followed by a walk from Swinbrook to St. Oswald's Church, and ended with a wonderful meal at the Maytime Pub in Asthall Leigh.

As we left Asthall Leigh, we stopped by the side of the road to say hello to some lambs. Lambs really do 'frolic', so we just had to stop and watch.  It was a magically quiet evening as we watched them hop and skip about, and all seemed well with the world, surrounded by a quiet, spring countryside.

Swinbrook, Oxfordshire, May 2013

The phone box in Swinbrook, enveloped in Queen Anne's Lace.

Lamp-post leading up to St. Mary's Church, Swinbrook,
although I think one day it may lead to Narnia (I'll keep checking).
"This is the land of Narnia, where we are now, and all that lies between
the lamp-postand the great castle of Cair Paravel on the Eastern Sea."
~Mr Tumnus, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Chapter Two

St. Mary's Church yard
"Each thing is of like form from everlasting
and comes round again in it's cycle."
~ Marcus Aurelius

The Maytime, Asthall Leigh

1 comment:

  1. Such lovely pics! Oxford in the spring beats MA in the spring, I think.