In early autumn my brother visited from New Zealand, and we spent much of our time together in long walks. Through the childhood haunts of our home-town we tramped, we rambled through woods, by streams, in alleyways and snickleways, we roamed along stretches of Estuary salt-marshes. But in particular we visited Wandlebury Iron-age Hillfort on the Gog Magog down – a range of low hills just outside Cambridge.
And in the way we always had when out walking together, my brother and I picked up and admired souvenirs, woodland spoils, trinkets from along the path. As a parting gift, just before he boarded the plane ,my brother handed me his nature hoard – a handful of brown dried fruits and a fine collection of deadwood sticks.
In my old gnarled bur-cherrywood bowl I see a conker, a hazelnut, some beechnut shells and half-a-dozen acorns. Their shells all shapes and sizes, colours from yellow and green through deep rusted-iron to dark burnished brown. Some of the acorns are fixed in their cups, some cut adrift and rolling. I think I might plant these acorns gathered from Gog Magog Down and see if they grow into oaks.
Jean Dark 2013
Printed in Earth Pathways Diary 23rd October 2015