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.