We met at church at half past nine,
Said something witty which inter-wove our walk all day.
And on the way we lost two car-loads down a country lane
Who turned up over coffee while we booted up and counted legs
Dividing the result by two (or four),
Guessing who was here (or there)
We set off up a well-trod path enticing us into
A world of needled green
And cones and stones and out
On to the heathery, bouldered shoulder of the hill.
And as we climbed beside the burn
We argued eschatology
And politics and psychology
And physics and philosophy
Till Robin shouted ‘lunch’!
I stood aside the path
And saw the icon of eternity
Displayed twixt hill and heaven;
The cattle on a thousand hills,
And sun to make our faces shine,
And strength as of the eagle,
And knew that it was good.
The dogs bore down all logs and legs
And we climbed on past bogs and crags
Until we peaked and tiredly turned
With laundered minds and buoyant hearts
Alight with laughter.
We had egg and chips and fish and chips and Shepherd’s pie
And said goodbye and drove home safe and satisfied
Dead beat, alive.
And I was left outside the church
With Irene’s sock and Lily’s stick,
At half past nine.