Stolen words from dead men

Gordon Allison and Steve Gordon were managers of Elmley Marshes nature reserve. Both were kind and generous men who lived for their work and loved Elmley. Both died at the reserve in their early fifties.

Is it wrong to take words from the mouths of men who can no longer speak of this place that they loved? I am here, in this morning hour in part to pay homage to these men. Gordon Allison and Steve Gordon, managers of Elmley Marshes. I am here to walk the reserve in spring and see the marsh harriers sky dance over the reedbeds because they can’t and I can and their early deaths make me all the more sure that, while I can, I should, as it can be gone so quickly. I am stealing the words of men who loved this landscape so deeply that they chose or it chose to let them spend their last days here.

If they could have one more day it would all be precious. The cold snap of wind on the cheeks, the uncertain pings of hidden birds in the reeds, the floating shadow of death as a marsh harrier drifts across. It is spring, a time of life, a time of live for today, eat and fight and make love and feel the warmth of the sun while you can. The only thing to do with the knowledge of death is to live harder.