A word from Lady Jean at the Manor House


Hello Everyone

A May Memory
In May of 1951 my father purchased ‘Morris 8’ motor car. One of the delights of my childhood from that time on was our Sunday Morning Drive. We would pile into “Buey” – as the car was nicknamed (from its number plate BUE 717) and set off into the English countryside. We enjoyed finding and following country roads – preferably unmapped. We were especially fascinated by those solitary roads that followed the whim of the terrain, and seemed to be indifferent to time and the necessity of getting anywhere in particular. Some followed cow paths which meandered haphazardly through the countryside. Others were set on old farm tracks wide enough to accommodate wagons.

We only drove them in the spring, summer or fall months. Once, after a spring rain storm, we found out that you could get stuck in the mud and we were embarrassed to have to ask a grinning farmer to haul us back to the main road!

Despite such incidents, we always felt a little freer when traveling back roads. Where we wandered it was mostly dairy country, and the sight of rolling pastures, peaceful valleys, and sleepy villages,
cornfields, trout streams and cool wooded groves rejuvenated us.

Often we would take a packed lunch and stop and sprawl in the shade of an old elm, (sadly all gone from England now). If we felt ambitious enough, follow an old stone wall to see where it would take us. Or we children might be allowed to paddle in the cool, clean water of a nearby brook or rivulet.

In the Spring we would listen to the wonderful sounds of the English birds - perhaps a blackbird singing to attract his beloved, or a lark trilling for sheer joy, or the strange call of a corn-crake. These wonderful sounds etched on my memory from the age of four, are still as clear to me now as ever, and still conjure the precious Sunday mornings in May on lonely country road in my childhood.

The foliage was always spectacular. In the Spring the trees were resplendent with fine blossoms – one of my particular favourites was the May Blossom (and I still have a May Tree outside my bedroom window today). And the fresh green shoots were just bursting through. In summer the wild flowers of every kind were in full display, and the trees provided welcome shade with their lush greenery. Fall, of course was spectacular as maroon, orange, yellow, crimson and brown crept over the hills and valleys painting them with an extravaganza of color.
But as much a joy and an adventure as these excursions were, it was always good to be home again for supper, refreshed and inspired to face whatever the night and next day's real world had in store for us.

But all this was before people had to get places fast and before they paved all the back roads and filled the pastureland and orchards with houses. I know now that I probably belong to the last generation to enjoy the phenomena of lonely country roads in England – they’ve all been mapped, widened and repaved to accommodate faster vehicles – and there probably aren’t many that don’t see much traffic. Yet perhaps there are some lonely back roads left in isolated pockets of rural areas throughout the country. But don't ask me where they are - I can't tell you. I promised.

Until next time

PS. If you’re wondering why I chose to write about this childhood memory in a Spiritual publication, the message is don’t be in such a mad-dash hurry to arrive at your spiritual destination (whatever that is!) Take time to enjoy the journey – soak up what it has to offer you, I guarantee your satisfaction will be multiplied a hundred fold.


By Sylvia Richards 
© Coyright Sylvia Richards All Rights Reserved