I had a delightful week in North Wales on the edge of the Snowdonia national park shooting a documentary drama. It's been fascinating researching and imagining life in 17th century Britain, living through the civil war, gunpowder plots, the thirty Years War and then dying of plague. Now I'm off down south to finish 'In Flagrante', a contemporary short film about siblings coping with the recent death of their parents. I've been promised some guidance in feral running through Kent's forests from one of our hosts and last time I got a chance to practice pigeon shooting! Here's to learning things!
Here is a taste of my journey into the mountains
I climbed up the path from the town leaving my worries step by step behind, the wooded path reminded me of walks in the Forest of Dean, the Yews twisting out of rock and now that Autumn is here I enjoyed the newly naked architecture of the trees. As I climbed a poem of Coleridge came to mind which I muttered to myself
"With many a pause and oft reverted eye
I climb the coomb's accent: sweet songsters near
Warble in shade their wild-wood melody:
Far off th' unvarying Cookoo soothes my ear.
Up scour the startling stragglers of the flock
That on green plots o'er precipices brouze:
From forced fissures of the naked rock
The Yew Tree bursts! Beneath its dark green boughs
(Mid which the May-thorn blends its blossoms white)
Where broad smooth stones jut out in mossy seats,
I rest. - And now have gain'd the topmost site.
Ah! What a luxury of landscape meets
My Gaze! Proud towers and Cots more dear to me,
Elm-shadow'd fields, and prospect-bounding sea!
Deep sighs my lonely heart: I drop the tear:
Enchanting spot! O were my Sara here!"
After a short rest and throwing our voices into the valley, we continued, the wind picking up the further we went leaving the wooded valley and arriving ontop. There, another poem made itself known to me but this time it was pinned to a stile next to farmouse at the top of the hill
"Walking in Mountains
You shall know the night....it's space, it's light, it's music.
You shall see the earth sink in darkness and the universe appear.
No roof shall shut you from the presence of the moon
You shall see a mountain rise in the transparent shadow before dawn
You shall see ...and feel... first light, and hear the ripple of stillness;
You shall enter the living shelter of the forest.
You shall walk where only the wind has walked before;
You shall know immensity, and see continuing the primeval forces of the world.
You shall know not one small segment but the whole of life,
strange, miraculous, living, dying and changing.
You shall face immortal challenges, you shall dare, delighting, to pit your skill,
courage, and wisdom against colossal facts
You shall live lifted up in light; you shall move amongst clouds.
You shall see storms arise, and; drenched and deafened, shall exult in them.
You shall top a rise and hold creation
And you shall need the tongues of angels to tell you what you have seen
Where all learnings lost, all music stilled,
Man, if these resources still remained to him, could hear again the singing in himself
And rebuild anew the habitations of his thought,
let all men
turn to the earth."
Nancy Wynne Newhall
I continued walking and soaked into the descent imagining the empty mines that scatter the hills, knowing I was returning to town changed, with a small glimpse of something, the motion of leaves freshly falling, the crunch of acorns underfoot and the satisfaction of that inner transformation of energy which nature provides.