Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Taking Eggs to Mair Part 2

Today, having been ill with a 24-hour bug, I forgot to take a box of eggs down the hill to Mair until 9pm.

The walk down couldn't have been more different to last week. This week I walked in rainy dark, not sun. And I thought of all the times I have walked up and down this hill in the 11 years I have lived at Halfway Up A Hill. I have walked in sun, in rain, in wind, in snow, by moonlight and in pitch dark. I have walked at dawn, and midday, and afternoon, at twilight and at night. I have walked in spring and summer and autumn and winter.

This evening it was still just light enough not to need the torch I took with me. Rain streaming off the fields ran down the edges of the road. Bareheaded, I enjoyed the sensation of raindrops on my hair. The only sound was falling rain, and the rushing of the swollen stream. No owls, no foxes, even the sheep were silent in the fields. Accompanied only by the bats swooping overhead. The smell of rain and woodsmoke. Down in the valley the few street lights glowed orange; the headlights of an occasional car swept along the road. Across the hills, the scattered lights of surrounding farms. Back up this hill, only the warm glow of lights at Halfway Up a Hill are visible.

Isn't this one of the ways we connect with the spirit of a place? By repeating a journey, an action, a chore, week after week so that we experience the place in all its many moods and modes? I am envious of the people whose families have walked these hills for generations. I imagine a bone-deep knowledge of the land.  My own relationship with this land will never have those accumulated ages of connection. But I approach the spirit of this place in friendship, with respect and openness. And as I open to Her, she opens to me and reveals Her many layers. Like any relationship, work, patience and understanding are required. But the rewards are well worth it.


Dartford Warbler said...

A wonderful description of your walk down the hill in the rain. I could feel those raindrops!

I too feel a growing bond with the place where we live and with the land , the trees and the animals. Some years ago I discovered that very distant cousins had once tenanted this land in early Victorian times, so I often think of them as I trudge around the fields with my wheelbarrow.

Robin Larkspur said...

You have written beautifully about your walk up and down the hill. The Spirit of the area surrounding your home must be enchanting.

the wild magnolia said...

i forget about connection with a place. reading this very well written post, i want to connect with where i am now, and places we travel in the future.

thank you.

Leanne said...

Susan, i feel a little sad reading your words for i feel little connection to this town. Yes, i feel my garden, but the town, no. Its times like this i really miss my somerset cottage and the countryside surrounding it.

Leanne x