I was away for less than a fortnight, but the elderly neighbour has been ill and hasn’t been around with his donkey for a few weeks now.
It seems, then, that the path I take across the field to get onto the road to the village has been ‘repossessed’. (It used to stretch from where the photo was taken almost to the tree and then down to the right.)
I should probably write a poem about it, but I think Rudyard Kipling dealt with the same subject better than I ever will, even if he was writing about woods rather than fields:
The way through the woods
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods…
But there is no road through the woods.