I was up early and out for a walk across the Meadows south of the College. It’s been a worrisome week, nothing that can’t be, won’t be, solved, but only with a clear mind, gentle heart, and quiet spirit. And so, the Meadows.
The Meadows lie along the Cam near the old village of Grantchester, once the favorite haunt of Rupert Brooke and his Group. The canvas chairs in the Orchard are empty in February, but they still serve tea and encourage reading of The Old Vicarage, an ode to youth and the town:
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
The church, the clock, the Vicarage (now home to Jeffrey Archer) are all much as Brooke and his group saw them in 1909; the fields beyond have probably looked this way for millennia before the Group first took tea beneath the trees.
It was a crisp, quiet morning, perfect for listening to the birds, the wind, and the stray thought. Here, as scholars, writers, and philosophers have for 800 years.