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U3A Writing: The Song Of The Nightingale

...Walking home along the lane in the soft, silvery glow was a joy...

Doreen Bryant remembers the simple pleasures of childhood.

As I write it is a beautifully clear, moonlight night, which brings back such happy childhood memories. The moonlight played such an important part in our lives in those far-off days, as Dewstow (where I lived) like Caldicot, did not enjoy street lighting.

My mother would not venture out in the dark but if the once-a-month Sunday evening service held at St Bartholomew's Church at Highmoor Hill coincided with a bright moonlight night, my mother would take my eldest brother and me, and what a treat it was.

The little church was lovely, softly illuminated by candle-light, warm and welcoming. An added pleasure was being allowed to stay up later than usual for it was six o'clock bed-time in our house. My mother loved the service but she disliked the incense used at Caldicot Church and did not attend there for that reason, preferring Rogiet or Caerwent.

Walking home along the lane in the soft, silvery glow was a joy. Once I remember hearing a nightingale, and often we would see the banks below the hedgerows sparkling with glow-worms.

I once read of the Three Wise Men of Gottiam who loved the springtime so much they couldn't bear to see it vanish, so they tried to build a fence around the cuckoo! My fence would be put round the simple pleasures of childhood.


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