What is the first word that comes into your head in response to the phrase ‘All Change’?
This was the question posed by Moniza Alvi at her recent Second Light workshop (see previous post). We went round anti-clockwise at speed. I found myself going second after ‘revolution’. I proffered ‘restoration’. I confess it was the sound association not the sense.
I thought of the great Scottish poet, Edwin Morgan, whose motto was ‘Change Rules’, and Rebecca Solnit’s ‘Never turn down an adventure without a really good reason’ (in her wonderful book The Faraway Nearby).
I remembered a conversation I overheard in a supermarket -
Child: Why are we buying this?
Parent: Because we always buy it.
Child: If you do the same things all the time you become boring.
Then there was the famous 70s book, Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, about ‘too much change in too short a period of time’.
Moving from Cumbria to Penllyn has been a big change in my life, but it has also been a restoration, a coming back. In the harbour at Pwllheli I have been delighted to see little egrets – they have come back too. Centuries ago these small white herons (looking from a distance like gawky pullets) were so common that a thousand were killed for the banquet celebrating the enthronement of the Archbishop of York in 1465. Hunted to extinction they were absent from our shores for centuries, but twenty years ago the first little egrets bred in the south of Britain and since then they have been gradually moving back to coastal habitats.
In the years when I wasn’t watching
the egrets returned.
They leave claw-prints like hallmarks
in a patch of silvery mud.
There is no snow on the mountains
reflected in the harbour stillness,
only the whiteness of these elsewhere birds
which have made this place their home.
© Mary Robinson 2017