On Friday 28th. October 2016 – I joined my two sisters and ‘The Whippets’ for a walk along the Tarka Trail to Beam – birthplace of Henry Williamson’s ‘Tarka the Otter’.
We rambled over Torrington Commons to where two Hawthorns entwine – they reminded me of the moralizing fable of Baucis and Philemon – a love story that exemplifies the virtue of being kind to strangers.
Soon we were on the trail itself – where the water of the Torridge was in reflective mood befitting the sleepy afternoon – and Season.
We enjoyed looking up into the tree-tops at some ‘Giants in the Forest’ – this one a kindly face in a mighty Ash.
At Beam Weir – ‘Old Nog’ was standing in the white water – I love how my camera has captured an eye in the shadow of the bank – an elemental being – another Green Man.We walked on to above ‘Owlery Holt’ – where the view of the viaduct brought thoughts – and discussion – of the migrant children that have sought peace here in the heart of Tarka Country – across the bridge – at Beam House. All three of us are now in our fifties – yet we can’t begin to truly imagine what horrors they have seen and suffered. We hope they can draw strength from the beauty and tranquility that we are so lucky to have on our doorstep – at least as a temporary stepping stone in life’s river.
On the way back – ‘Old Nog’ was still fishing.Watching the Great Heron standing in the mercurial water – our thoughts turned again to the Syrian refugee crisis – I found myself inwardly recalling lines from another proverbial work – this time by Martin Tupper – a powerful poem called – The Giant Fisher.