Sunday, 9 April 2017

Chance

I was passing through Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire today on my way to meet some friends, when I saw a signpost for Adelstrop. I'd always wanted to see the village bearing the iconic name so I pulled off the main road.

The railway station closed years ago, but I'd read that the sign had been preserved and erected in a bus stop to honour the  memory of the exquisite poem I refer to in my blog post of  26/11/2016.

A couple sitting on bench inside the shelter told me that Edward Thomas, war poet and nature poet died a hundred years ago today on a battlefield at Arras and that they were waiting to attend a church service in his name. Goose pimples rose on my arms and I thought of the alignment of chance that brought me here on this day. 

Visiting particular friends, taking this route, noticing the signpost, remembering the bus stop, finding the railway sign, meeting the couple who told me of the significance of the day - Edward Thomas, stopping in a train so many years ago... 

Chance and the sense of being drawn to a place or a person is the stuff of story - inexorable necessity; characters pulled, pushed and toppled on a chessboard.  


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