Richard Jefferies, the son of a Wiltshire farmer, ran away from home twice in search of adventure.
First, he aimed for Paris, then America, but he ended up back on the home farm both times.
He began scribbling and made a name for himself as a nature writer.
Indeed, his communion with the natural world was regarded by some as mystical, which suggests to me only that he paid closer attention to its wonders than most of us do.
Writing of woods in Sussex in January 1884, he said, “The lost leaves measure our years; they are gone as the days are gone, and the bare branches silently speak of a new year, slowly advancing its buds, its foliage, and fruit.”
The year 1884 seems like such a long time away, but not much will have changed in the woods, and our lives still have their seasons. The supposedly empty times are not forsaken; they are necessary in as much as they clear the way for the new.
May this new year, in whichever way you need it the most, also be full of new buds, foliage and fruit.
(The Friendship Book / 2021)