22 July 2021, The Tablet

Glimpses of Eden

Glimpses of Eden

One moment I was lumbering down a steep, tree-clad bank, pushing through branches and thorns; the next, I stumbled into the bright light of a clearing. The glade was full of harebells, their sky blue spread over the grass like a perfect picnic rug. Taking off my boots, I waded through the flowers, before sitting down in the midst of them. In the past, people would never have done this. In pre-industrial Europe, folk feared harebells, believing they belonged to the faery realm of witches, hobs, and brownies.

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