Country diary: I console myself that robins only sing of the future – Rights History
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Country diary: I console myself that robins only sing of the future

Sandy, Bedfordshire: In between hospital visits, I go for a walk, accompanied every step of the way

Dusk came on unawares. A cry against the dark triggered our last conversation. “Can you hear the blackbird?” I asked. “Magpie,” she said. My mother has been dying by degrees this autumn, as surely as the shortening of our days. Perhaps this is a fitting time to bow out for a May child, named after the life-giving month of her birth. My own life-giver’s final journey accompanies me on every walk, colours every observation.

First light on her last day? A song jerks me out of solemnity, robins in stereo, one left, one right. One more from a bush a few steps on, another by the biggest oak.

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