Deeply Scored

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A walk from Ford to Hurdcott and back in February 2014. The bridle way has become a river, wellie deep in places and the flow of water escaping the banks of the River Bourne is quite strong as it rushes across fields, path, road, ditches and field drains in search of itself. Long stretches of water burbling and bubbling along new routes, deep then shallow and almost tidal.  We have become so careless with our countryside, it is seen as nothing more than commodity; a currency to be exploited without the care and attention we once gave it – when we understood its purpose and respected its presence. Now men in cities (yes, mostly men) and greedy new farmers who think  tinkering technology and machines are more important than understanding the land, or have become too embittered to care anymore, plunder our countryside unabashed by the scars they leave. Our land is deeply scored, Housing estates thrown up in cheap haste, without craftmanship, carp their rights and unsettle the natural order of the landscape, Scatterings of monstrous metal sheds thunder their enlarged existence as hour by hour they process human necessities: fuel, food, the mysterious ‘generic’ goods that all too soon create waste mountains of the unwanted, the discarded, the ‘convenient’. This we are told we must have, this is forced upon us by ‘mythical market forces’ that we are told we created. Our demand, our need. ‘Look to America!’ these suited crows of commerce cry, those men who think we asked them to lead us into a brave, new world, and when we question, with a zealots shout they answer ‘look at what they’ve done’. We look and wonder why anyone would want that, why that is such a desirable example of how to live. What have we done? What can we do?  I see the terrible drama playing out  on our TV screens, as in the Ukraine people cry out with frustration at injustice. We are told that all protestors are terrorists and  yet we know in our hearts they are just like us, the unhappy people, wanting change, wanting to be heard,