Hole of Horcum, Heaven or Hell?
I see there are two paths we can walk on through this adventure.
They run parallel, and appear not dissimilar.
Both have grassy valleys, trees and sheep,
yet one is heaven and one is hell.
To begin with I did not see two separate paths.
As we stepped over each stile and passed through each gate they seemed
Narnia-like to offer a different world beyond.
Here there was a dry and dusty path winding down through coarse heather,
with the delight of a snake on the path, soaking up the sun
and hurriedly moving away from the irritating disturbance that we represent.
Next a grassy meadow where the solitary but persistent cry
of a sheep turned into a chorus of bleats and belches.
Here there was a small wood offering much needed shade,
and the delightful babble of a nearby brook.
Next the vast openness of the valley top,
with the air full of invisible skylarks,
and the sky beguilingly blue,
gloriously welcoming and dangerously lying about the strength of the sun.
But as we walk I realise I vacillated between two paths,
one of acceptance
and welcoming each new treat as an unknown, unchartered world,
and the other of comment and complaining.
Have I brought the right footwear?
Should I be wearing boots like everyone else?
The sun is beautiful, but too hot,
I don’t like the feeling of stickiness.
I need the loo, but where can I go
in this landscape that suddenly seems bleak and barren?
I hope there’s shade when we stop for lunch!
And the place where we naturally came to rest and eat offers no shade,
but a glorious sweeping vista,
and the sound of a distant steam-train,
unseen but puffing its way from the past,
and a calm, playful breeze that unerringly drives away
the unbearable heat of the sun,
turning it instead to a welcome delight
that means one can shed layers of clothing and shoes and walk carefree.
The two paths criss-cross and dance with each other,
but ultimately one has to choose.
Heaven is not a place,
it is a moment,
a present moment,a moment of acceptance and welcoming.
© 6 July 2012