07 November 2019, The Tablet

Glimpses of Eden

Glimpses of Eden

Picture the scene: a country lane meandering through an undulating landscape of cow fields and little woods. On the horizon, steep hills rise, orange with autumn trees. High in these hills, the sandstone cloisters of Stanbrook Abbey, one of the country’s newest and loveliest abbeys, is clearly visible. Closer at hand, Byland Abbey lifts the remnant of its fractured rose window like a crescent moon.

But I wasn’t looking at any of that. Standing on the wayside verge, I was staring at the owl perched in the close-by veteran oak. And the little owl was staring back.

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