Pilgrimpace's Blog


lenten journey 14

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I’ve worked too many days off recently so took a couple of days off to continue my pilgrimage along the Two Saints Way with Mark.  We met in Stafford and spent Thursday walking to Trentham.  This was good winter walking.  We saw the sun occasionally.  We spent time in prayerful silence and time talking and reflecting.  We had a lunchtime warm in a pub in Stone.  We saw plenty of rooks, half a dozen fallow deer skipping through a forest, although a high metal fence kept us separated from the Trentham monkeys.  We reached our warm room before dark.

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It snowed overnight (it is still snowing now).  We were lucky.  We weren’t walking across the Alps with Nicholas Crane:

In the opening of day, without the threat of impending darkness, the forest along the cliffs took on the aspect of a winter garden.  The constant snowfall of the previous days had replaced the atto-detail of earth with a glaring uniformity.  Even the trees looked unreal, white now and shadowed by their own limbs.  Under the snow-cover I couldn’t tell where paths might lie; the painted waymarks I’d often relied upon would be buried also.  More than ever, I’d be relying upon the compass.  The edge of the snowdrifts along the cliff merged seamlessly with cloud.

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In fact we were very lucky.  It was an adventure.  Snow was drifting on the Staffordshire Hills but our route for the day was mainly urban.  We made our way to the Trent and Mersey Canal and followed it through the Potteries.  This walk through a post-industrial landscape gave plenty to ponder as we prepare for the Pilgrimage of Holy Week. The suffering of the earth and the suffering of people; the hard plod through freezing snow; the joy of warm hospitality from low paid workers; finding and following the Way; will it be always Winter and never Easter?

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Nice! But I’m intrigued by the Trentham monkeys.

Comment by The Solitary Walker

The Trentham Monkeys! Are they like the Giant Surrey Beaver I have encountered traces of on previous walks (and which I think has now migrated to Worcestershire)? Are they hippogriffs or cockatrices? Are they macaques living in the Monkey Forest?

Well, that fence was spooky, but they were either sleeping in the trees or letting us past …

Comment by pilgrimpace

All I can say is that I am glad I am not arriving in Europe soon this year- but when spring arrives I hope it will have plenty of glory to gladden your hearts.

Comment by Margaret

thanks Margaret!

Comment by pilgrimpace




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