I found this slate poem tonight, the latest one I’ve come across on Longridge Fell during this Covid pandemic.
Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.
A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.
Sometimes our best efforts do not go amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.
I was at the far end of the fell, once more seeking solitude. Dark clouds were gathering and I set off up a sidetrack more in hope than optimism. I was not very optimistic about staying dry but I hoped I would. One can be pessimistic but hopeful at the same time. The above poem, by Sheenagh Pugh, expresses similar ideas I think.
It was only a short walk to clear my head, there were some large drops of rain for a short time but I was back at the car before the forecast storm. A triumph of hope over optimism.
The slow progress out of this pandemic is of concern to me especially as lockdown is being lifted quickly without good medical evidence. There are still a significant number of daily deaths and the magic R number is struggling to stay under 1. Boris wants us all to go shopping next week, that shows where his priorities lie – certainly not with the vulnerable in our society.
My optimism for a successful outcome is dwindling – I will just have to hope from now on.