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Ridgeway Ablution

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Breaking cover, from winding hedgerow bridleway to sweeping open terrain.

A short stroll, bare feet on muddy grass;  dog walker, trench-digger and panting jogger dot the landscape, unaware.

To this glorious habitat, I joyfully share with red kites, brown mice and green wheat.

Gently separating the young sheaves, damp ears whisper their welcome, politely folding aside.

The spikelets push back, softly scouring intruding flesh.

One year ago, at this same place, the yellow rape patchworked in thirty degree swelter.

Our group, the sultry secret seven, skin sluiced by sweat, scanned the surroundings, indulging in our audacity.

The bare band of brothers and sisters, on a six mile caper.   

 Today, it’s simply me, sensually pampering myself.

Sixteen degree rain, not sweat, beads on my skin,

and the olive green blanket, luxuriously appointed by nature, folds itself around me.

Wet vegetation’s cool embrace.

My Ridgeway ablution. 

 I want to inhabit this place, forever……

But my tenure is disturbed.

Hard ridden horses on the gallop, spraying sweat and spit;  steam drifting, hooves drumming, riders blinking.

Then silence, deafening hush, disturbed only by rain’s gentle rhythm on crops and skin.

I’m here!

I live!

I need this moment….these moments…to be me. 

Dwarfed by this magnificent landscape, wet, laid-back, content.

This is me.

Naked Walker on the Ridgeway, West Berkshire

Peter    13/06/2016