By: Maryanne Grant Traylen
except that it reads something into us,
makes us feel different, refreshed, smoothed out each time,
as if we had walked the body into liquid or transparency
and made our spirit strong.
And as if the spirit instructed by the body
was walking its journey into being,
not out of itself
GREEN KORDOFAN WALK 22/23 MAY 2021
Along the Nailbourne a row of quaking aspen with diamond shaped hollows in smooth grey bark, had fluttered high, their leaves set on long stalks with odd twists quivering in the slightest breeze, whole crowns wobbling on an upper storey sounding like seas that had been taken into the skies. Populus is distantly derived from the Greek flutter papaillo I read later, and leads to the French papillon, butterfly. This tremble-flutter movement of leaves helps the tree take in more carbon, increasing its growth but also making it thirsty. Twist, flicker, suck. It thrives understandably on the swampy ground we pass by. Have we all got our bottled water we check with each other as if we were crossing arid plains.
But if there was fault all along in our helplessness against the perpetrators of atrocities in Sudan, and our separation from it was highlighted by our very effort towards it, these beautiful dry valleys outstretching in spurs and combes like fingers from the Downs going westwards, knew our consternation. If we hid it sometimes the land didn’t and as conduit for feelings and thoughts for healing focused us on the purpose of our walk. Above or below the hopelessness, snaking further west away from Canterbury towards those pilgrims who first set off from Winchester, these green and pleasant pastures, however far from the arid, wretched ones of Sudan, were a continuum. They showed us the possibility of connection.
A big thank and several hugs for Raga who organised this, Chris who led, and each and every other extraordinary walker.
The team are raising funds to employ a nurse to help children in Yida refugee camp in South Sudan.
You can donate through JustGiving,Click here,Thank you!