Thursday 18 August 2016

A walk through paradise

We took a walk through the Rothbury Hills on a sunny day. At times it was like being isolated in a sea of purple, bee-droning, honey-scented heather - nothing visible except the distant 'sacred mountain' of Simonside in one direction, and the border ridge of the Cheviot Hills in another.

It really was perfection on earth; in the sense that we could not wish to be anywhere else or doing anything else - a complete experience.

Note: The above, lovely, photos are what the landscape looked like; but I didn't take them myself - they are from the internet. At the time, I was too absorbed in the moment to want to take pictures of it - even if I had brought my camera.


David Balfour said...

Such vibrant colours and such beauty! We really are blessed to live in the North East of England. The weather at the moment really is allowing the landscape to bloom. I was thinking similar sentiments today as I drove around rural Consett for home visits.

Leo said...

From Clancy of the Overflow by Australian bush poet A.B. ("Banjo") Paterson

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.

Read the whole poem at

Nathaniel said...

Did you happen to stumble upon a Mr. Bombadil?

Adam G. said...

So the purple (heather?) is a natural growth?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Adam - Yes, heather flowers are (mostly) purple; and it grows naturally on the peaty acidic soil - esepcially on the 'fell sandstone' hills ('the black lands'). It is allowed to remain because sheep feed on it in early spring before the grass starts growing; and because it is used to rear pheasants and grouse for shooting. The heather is burned, in a patchwork rotation every several years, so that there are always some young and tender plants.

Samson J. said...

Beautiful. I may have said this before, but I always feel a tension between the ancientness of Albion's landscape, full of memory, and the electrifying wilderness of my Canada, where forests are vast and unconquered. The one promotes a feeling of wistful dreaminess, the other an energizing excitement, and you can have one or the other, but not both.

Nicholas Fulford said...

Nature's beauty is my preferred tonic. Long hikes - physically challenging - strip away my usual thought-stream and replace it with an immediate and direct interaction with the world I live within. Nothing so pleases me - alright the best of music and poetry does - and I know that I am vital with each step. Give me nature in her full glory, and let me swoon at her as she reminds me of how wondrous a thing it is to be alive, a part of this magnificent biosphere with all the varieties of live that weave together to express what I sea and am a part of.

To my mother the earth, my love is boundless, as is my gratitude.

Bruce Charlton said...

@SJ - I agree. What we have here is a multi-layered landscape, full of depth and resonance - but there is no primal wilderness at all.

I felt something similar in Iceland, although it is a much younger country (historically and geologically) - it is as if every square yard of the place is known (and loved) by many generations - yet still an unfathomable mystery.