"Let me in your hollows deep to cut a path to where my imagination and feet run wild
Let it be strewn with leaves knee deep for miles upon miles
Lined with soft dry stone walls all green with fairy moss
Long laid by quiet lads and men
Let the wind here not pass
Nor the gourd of winter's bite quite snatch from it's sheltered grove the quietude
But keep in it's winding groove all ancient memories from the changing beleaguered landscape without
And recall the whispered call of sprites dawn to dusk in it's hushed wallow
Let me here some time to swallow the fragrant air wafting from a sweeping meadow yonder
And as I walk to ponder on such quiet things that the world takes for granted
Yet let it not be granted this neck of wood and leaf and stone
To fall into rougher hands"
This is a path I remember well as my companions and I were skirting the West Yorkshire countryside of the metropolis of Bradford, when we happened on a friendly chap selling all manner of things from his garage sale. While books and boots and suchlike caught the eye of my friends, my eye caught sight of a handsome hammock, the sort I always wanted, just laying there waiting for me. So I paid a crazily low price for it and carried it off .. for the rest of the walk, going against my principle of travelling light, yet I couldn't resist this bargain of a longstanding desire to own a hammock. It has since had much and great use. So this was a path of delightful discoveries, both natural and domestic.
Like Rome, the tired and beleaguered if not strangely romantic industrial city of Bradford complete with it's satanic mills of a more affluent epoch when the world bought it's textiles - the so called satanic reference due to the hard and slavish life the mills represented to thousands of mill workers back in Victorian times, built to the west of my home city of Leeds, is also surrounded by seven hills. On escaping the blight of it's industrial past, the lighter and less satanic aspects of the city are to be found in and amongst those hills that stretch from Ilkley Moor to the north and the environs of Halifax to the south west.
Such places as we found on this walk are always a delightful surprise but this particular path was a real delight and quite magical. I could imagine it must have acted like a stream at times with heavy rainfall as we found water trickling down the stony steps along the way. It's romantic nature though was like walking through a dream landscape lost to the world. I wanted to capture the tactile nature of it by shooting low and emphasising the amount of leaves laying along the path, caught between the dry stone walls either side. My trusty Samsung mobile phone came up trumps again, delivering a valued image and securing a loving memory of a happy day's sojourn with delightful company, both familiar and stranger.
It was a memorable walk, also aided by finding several other treasures along the way, of which I might mention some other Steemit posting day. Do you have anything romantic as this in your neck of the woods?
All images and text copyright Paul Heaney © 2018