ON GREENHAM COMMON-CHRISTMAS DAY 1986- As Written to Godfrey

Dear Godfrey; as I sit here at the Peace Camp ,I picture you , hottest  time of year,Christmas Day in the orchards of Otago.

We are hewers of wood, drawers of water, every age and  belief women bold,winter vigil at the main gate, in the snow and cold. It was funny hopping off the bus from London. Crossing to make a muddy clearing my home. Away from the fire, indeed the chill cuts to the bone. Being new, never having been to Newbury before, I was given a list and sent off to the store, boltcutters, red paint, ladies things,potatoes, and a gallon of Domestos Bleach for the Loo, a comfy, lidded pail, hidden in the deep gorse…

Hidden in the gorse out of view. Dinner was welcome and hot-Bean Stew. Rude persons drive by, yelling nasty words in fear and hate. The police watch round the clock from a sentry box up at the gate. And there are women here who dislike music, meat and men, committed to the cause they can be grumpy.But we are hewers of wood, drawers of water…to stop the missiles and see the Common free.

Many kind visitors drop by, they bring mince pies and good  cheer, they sit in the smoke, they bring loo roll and ginger beer. When on the far side of the world you sleep, I trod the oak woods in snow knee deep, cross the stream to the Silo fence. We lean there in the gloaming, its one of those  moments you told me of that happen when time waits…we break trail in silence home to our gates. We are hewers of wood, drawers of water.

Christmas Day 1986- a family visits, a very old woman, as elderly to, are her three sons. What a world she has lived so long to see!! Dear, she says to me,I sit in remnant of your kilt as a scarf, muddy boots, wooley hat, sooty face, she told me “One day the world will be thankful, that long ago women sat outside this base”..

.The wise old Peace Woman-She walks by her own, near journeys end in the garden of stone. She is good to go, wooley hat and gumboots on to. In her eyes the fire still burns there, singing voices will carry her home. And she will remain a part of the Common Land- For she is made of Thorn and Bone.  (Dear Godfrey, sorry about the state of this letter, fell in the mud) Wear your sunhat in those Apricot trees, Love and Peas..Sarah.

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2 thoughts on “ON GREENHAM COMMON-CHRISTMAS DAY 1986- As Written to Godfrey

  1. I’m forever thankful to women like Sarah and the wise old Peace Woman who tilt at windmills and sacrifice comfort to display their beliefs. Repeating “hewers of wood and drawers of water” is very powerful.

  2. Thanks Mercy- the year I spent at Greenham, two winters was the best thing I have ever done, broke my heart, changed things forever, it’s amazing now, how people do say a simple “Thank You”- an amazing place if you ever get over there, or have been. Sarah, last to leave is 87 now, still speaking out.

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