Moorland macro moments.

All this recent talk of weather and seasons is making me feel all nostalgic for the gloomy, brooding heaths and moorlands of England, where there was just the slightest tang of the approaching Autumn in the air when I visited.

As I walked, there was a fine mist over the hills, and a drizzling rain.  Everything was shrouded in thick grey cloud and dimmed.  That feeling you get when you walk into a room, flip on the light and wait for the energy-saving lightbulb to really reach full brightness.

The raw, untamed wildness of the heaths and moors is timeless, and it had me thinking of some of my favourite vintage classics.  Characters in novels I’ve read so often that they are like well-known friends talking about their own love for the place.

‘I wish I were out of doors! I wish I were a girl again, half savage and hardy, and free […] I’m sure I should be myself were I once among the heather on those hills.’

(Wuthering Heights; Emily Bronte)

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But the grand scale of the moors in all their gloomy desolation did not lessen the beauty close to hand.  Nature’s bounty was jewel-bright all around me.  Flowers and fruit in profusion everywhere.  Absolute macro photography heaven.

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‘The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one’s soul, its vastness, and also its grim charm.’

(The Hound of the Baskervilles; Arthur Conan Doyle)

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‘There’s naught as nice as th’ smell o’ good clean earth, except th’ smell o’ fresh growin’ things when th’ rain falls on ’em.’

(The Secret Garden; Frances Hodgson Burnett)

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‘If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.’

(The Secret Garden; Frances Hodgson Burnett)

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‘I touched the heath: it was dry, and yet warm with the heat of the summer day. I looked at the sky; it was pure: a kindly star twinkled just above the chasm ridge. The dew fell, but with propitious softness; no breeze whispered. Nature seemed to me benign and good; I thought she loved me […] To-night, at least, I would be her guest, as I was her child: my mother would lodge me without money and without price.’

(Jane Eyre; Charlotte Bronte)

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It was only a very brief stop, but I really connected with the vast, pared back beauty of the place.  The landscape was awe-inspiring.  I know I’ll be back there at some point to explore more thoroughly.

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