We are on the High Peak Trail .A gale is storming in over the Staffordshire moorlands.Spots of icy rain sting the cheeks bringing a wonderful sense of exhilaration and joy . Everything is alive in the wake of these strong winds that whip our coats and seek to rip off our hoods.Now and then the morning sun rips a gash in wind driven clouds .Shafts of light resembling search lights illuminate the horizon. Being in the presence of the power of nature brings such freedom. We laugh and watch a gathering of Rooks and jackdaws who seem to be playing in the sky. The wind swirls them up and down.They ride the storm calling “raak” and “Jack Jack” in what appears to be absolute joy.(Life lesson ! When the storms come ride them don’t fight them ? Easy to say hard to do). The birds swoop and swirl as we watch.Wonderful stuff in the Peak District.
Suddenly it’s the 22nd of November.This month is flying by.A mixture of dealing with the garden ,walking under both awe inspiring skies and leaden clouds and rain. Autumn has bled into winter and the remaining leaves are resplendent.
The Nine Ladies were at their silent magical best on this crisp beautiful afternoon.the mid afternoon sun cast a spell across the circle. Silently we paid our respects in a hushed wonder.Sometimes nature is transcendent and all you can do is rest in that presence. The universe greets you with love and blessed with her bounty. Our role in this drama is to rest and be aware. It is in these moments we realise just how meaningless much of what we are encouraged to strive for will not satisfy our souls.Begin in silence and the present moment .We have to make space in life for these gifts. It’s all we really have. Namaste.
October 31. Life and Death. Our Samhain celebration started with a favourite walk. The morning was still and slightly overcast. We encountered a greater spotted woodpecker (unusual) early on. After a couple of miles we paused only to hear a Crow’s call that echoed like a gunshot in the stillness. The land stretched out before us.Entering the wood was almost a reverential act .It seemed as though all of Nature was saying farewell to Summer and hello to Winter such was the quietness. We walked mostly in silence lost in our own thoughts and meditations .A late lunch of homemade parsnip and apple soup made for a perfect end to our excursion. As darkness fell I set up the Samhain portal mirrors and fire pit .The moon partially hidden watched over us as we lit the fire. Little Owls called from the fields beyond the garden as we stood quietly in the firelight.The fires consumed the years unhappy memories and we gave thanks for the goodness we have received. Winter and cold will come soon now along with warm jumpers ,boots and scarves. Time for enjoying the rhythm of the seasons and accepting the dark and cold , understand the meaning of “winter” and looking forward to the light of rejuvenation.
Great to wander around within a couple of miles of home.The River Lathkil is a shadow of its former self. The deep green waters are no longer .The days of the beautiful river seem to have passed.The damage done by mining now taking its toll.we hoped to catch a kingfisher but no joy.The vegetation is dieing back now .A sure sign that winter is close
A sunny October day finds us exploring “the Realm of Ancient Kings” , Harboro Rocks. Buzzards wheel and hover in the clear skies and you can see for miles. I fantasize I can see Toby Hay,s house in mid Wales. In the early afternoon we eat our picnic gazing across the landscape. Perfect.
Out on the North Eastern edge of the Peak District today .A strong winds and cloudy skies made for a bracing walk.Grouse chattering away and a lonely kestrel the only activity out there.Fantastic views towards the Hope Valley to the West and Redmires to the East.
Listening : the wind across the moor and the grouse chattering in the heather.
A blustery westerly winds pushes us over the Moor. A solitary carrion crow watches us from a fencepost as we pass by. It is a splendid afternoon . Just off the beaten track we spot funghi in an old Oak grove and take a look. Further on we find the Nine Ladies sitting quietly now ,the tourist season over, and the Equinox revelers departed. That unique “special place” feel has returned. The wind continues to annoy the birch and oak trees and beautifully coloured leaves ,yellow red and ochre, skid through the air freed from their moorings. There are more funghi specimens hidden among the trees .The sky feel endless and the sun sends shafts of light all around. Near the entry gate the ground is littered with sweet chestnuts. Nature is not only bounteous but seemingly wasteful as well.
Listening: Anne Briggs “comes a time”
September drifts to an end quiet warmish days and showers. Pay a short visit to our friends Peter and Linda . We met a lovely watercolour artist Patricia Board whose work is wonderful and a retired farmer/countryman Peter Thomas who now spends his time woodturning using found pieces of natural English wood. They both said ” we love what we do ” .They felt like kindred spirits creating beauty simply because they could. Unpretentious happy artistic beings. Inspiring.
Listening : Windy & Carl : blues for a UFO