New year walk at The Rhydd
I was recently at the Barn and my sister and I took a new year walk down Sink Lane with The Rhydd’s dog Summer. Sink Lane is a quiet lane with minimal traffic which leads between fields with views to the Malvern Hills. Below are two photos: one taken from Sink Lane and one taken from the driveway of Rhydd Barn.
I was reminded of my father’s poem about Sink Lane which was written at this time of year, but 28 years ago. Here it is:
SINK LANE IN WINTER
Sink Lane leads nowhere in particular,
Its attraction is the alternating
Lengths of straight tree or hedgelined avenues
Each with its special vista of its own
Imparting inspiration and new thoughts
As ev’ry corner turned brings it in view.
The brook which runs alongside also has
Its own identity, purpose and charm,
At first on one side, then the other one,
It glides below the bridge half way along
Intriguing children as they throw their sticks
And watch them re-appear the other side.
I take my dog for walks along Sink Lane,
She knows it well, wherever rabbits hide,
And mice, perhaps a squirrel up aloft.
I loose her off her lead and free to run,
Sometimes she’s out of sight but always will
Return, when called, in full obedience.
In afternoons the Hills the Western sky
Adorn, beyond the junction of Sink Lane
With so-called Hangman’s Lane of ill repute,
I do not venture there, instead return
And with my dog observe the twisted oaks
Which once enriched the Forest of King John.
But seldom do I meet another soul.
Perhaps a car goes by. Meanwhile the fields
In winter empty are, though pastures there
Presage the dairy cattle which will graze,
Or hay and silage crops for next year’s
Sustenance, when cows to the yards return.
It can feel lonely as I walk along
Sink Lane. I think of those who at one time
Would me have joined ere passing from this world.
Sometimes I see a brown-cowled figure there
Like him who at Assisi taught his friends
To be unselfish, give away their goods,
And, when pricked by a rose bush, gave his blood
For everlasting blooming of that thorn,
And, comforted, knowing I’m not alone,
I call my dog to heel and walk back home.
— Geoffrey Boaz, February 1994
An oil painting of Sink Lane by my mother, Margaret, hangs at the very top of Rhydd Barn along with an original typed up copy of my father’s poem. Here is a photo of them in the barn: