“And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.”
~By William Blake~
As most of you know, I have been back and forth to England many times over the past 9 years. People have often asked me what it is I love about the place and why I always wanted to go back. There are many reasons, but I believe the main one has to do with this beautiful feeling of being “home.”
As a child, I grew up in the Spokane, Washington area among rolling green hills, mountains and lakes. I spent many happy memories wandering through farm fields, playing by streams, and going to the park. I was happiest laying on the grass under green and leafy trees on a warm summer’s day. The scent of sun-warmed blossoms drifted on the breeze and in my imagination, I adventured through many distant lands.
When I first stood on a hill overlooking “the green and pleasant” countryside of England, I felt as though I had found those “distant lands” that I once imagined as a child. My soul felt at home in a way I hadn’t felt for a long time.
But why? I had never been here before. Why would I feel at “home” in a place that I had never lived in? Over time, I concluded that it was because I must have wandered its lands as a spirit before I was born. Had I rambled the pastoral hills with my ancestors? Had I lived in those ruins that so spoke to my soul? Had my spiritual feet traversed the beaches, fields and moors?
Was that why the flowers in their ethereal blues and sunny yellows were so familiar to me?
When I stood upon the ruins of a castle wall, is that why I felt as if I had somehow been there before?
Is that why I felt such passion when I tenderly caressed the ancient stones?
When I walked along coasts of jagged rocks and watched the ocean crash on the shore below, is that why I felt a longing for something I could not put a name to?
Was it the mystery of history that spoke to my romantic soul? Was it me or my ancestors that whispered “Welcome home…”
Though that chapter of my life is now closed, I will continue to carry with me the memories of extraordinary adventures, dreams fulfilled and lifelong friendships made. I will always treasure my journey in “England’s green and pleasant land…” and maybe one day, I will once again traverse the well-known paths with those who have gone long before.
(All pictures by me in England, Wales and Cornwall 2015, 2018 & 2019.)