Clare is a poet and local resident who has visited Hollybush with first her own children and now granddaughter. She has also provided some coaching support to staff in the last two years. She kindly accepted the request to write a piece and read it at the book launch.
I moved not far from Hollybush, nearly thirty years ago and one of the things that made me know I was going to be alright living there was knowing Hollybush was there and that I had already visited with my young children. So Hollybush has been for me and my family a major thing, all through that time and I now take my granddaughter, I have had the privilege and honour to take my granddaughter round Hollybush and recently I’ve done a bit of work supporting staff and seeing how staff completely embody all those values and commitment in Hollybush so what I have done is written you a commemorative poem.
Spirit of Hollybush
A land for little legs to roam, with hillock,
woodland, and a pond for dipping,
a wild flower meadow, a Cornish wall,
paths that twist and turn
over wooden stiles, tall walls,
where a wren perches in ivy vines.
This is a place with secret corners
where fairies in twilight can be seen,
dancing by the light of fungus lanterns.
A hive is tucked away, so bees can feed
on swathes of flowers, dead wood in piles
so the air is filled with insect song.
The soil smells sweet, years of compost, mulch,
or simply left for worms to aerate.
Knowing hands sow seeds
for the locality: rosemary, thyme,
oxe-eye daisy, cherry tomato,
squash, french beans and sugar snaps.
At Hollybush they know how good it feels
to dig with others to make a garden
or saw and plane a piece of wood,
or show someone how to make a hedge,
so even the shakiest human stands their ground,
puts down roots, grows and blooms.
Through forty years of flow,
sun and rain, hail and snow
so many have touched this place
mixing in their special DNA
helping to form a living network
to flourish for many years to come.
Through the balance of give and take,
they share with us the best life has to offer:
a living willow dome to hide in,
a slice of home-made cake,
a willing ear,
a green glade for a quiet moment in the sun.
Clare concluded the book launch with Wendall Berry’s short poem “The Peace of Wild Things”