Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembering

It's icy cold on my hill in the highlands late on a November day, although one would not know it from the glorious tints of the deepening sky, the backlit clouds and the fiery setting sun yesterday. The annual deer hunting season is in full swing now, and I added my own soup├žon of color to the autumnal Saturday equation, all decked out in blaze orange from head to foot and looking rather like a large squash.

There was a solitary eagle above my head yesterday, and she (I think it was a she) looked as if she was sliding down one of the day's last sunbeams. There was an abundance of wind out on the brow of the hill where I was sitting, and I hunkered down, trying to present as small an object of attention to it as possible. What color is the wind in November anyway, has anyone seen it?

For all the bright sky, the clouds, the sunbeams and the resolute oak trees holding onto their leaves, the day had a sombre ambiance.

It was the eve of Remembrance Day and the 90th anniversary of one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, the brutal months long campaign waged in the ruined Belgian village of Passchendaele and nearby Delville Wood. We have no way of knowing just how many valiant spirits fell in that prolonged battle, but historians say there are still a hundred thousand good men and an equal number of horses sleeping in unknown graves beneath the green fields of Belgium.

At least one of those courageous and unclaimed fallen spirits is a member of my clan. Today, let us remember our fallen ones, all of them. Let us also remember those who are working for world peace.

6 comments:

Changes in the wind said...

This is the most beautiful picture...wow.

Anonymous said...

The light, and the eagle -- that's one of the most beautiful things I've seen. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

For Remeberance Day, I recall the simple eloquent poem of Rudyard Kipling, "If any question why we died, tell them because our fathers lied."

Your words and photographs are always a source of inspiration and grace.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog
For some reason I feel as though
I have just met a kindred spirit
I will be visiting daily
Your pictures are awesome
Larkspur

Janvde said...

Hi dear Kate

I just want to tell you how I adore your blog. I am a boy from Belgium and as you metioned Belgium today, I thougt this was the moment to post a comment.
I can not express how I feel and think exactly the same about the things you write about, for sure the Wild Mother...

Thanks for your wonderful blog

Janvde said...

How stupid and impolite of me

My name is Jan (jan.vandeneyndt@gmail.com)