Off duty…

After driving for four hours on the road north, there is a brief glimpse of a hillside on the horizon which, at this time of year, is the one thing I am waiting to see. If the light is right and the weather kind… and if the heather is in bloom, the shadowy hilltop wears a faint purple smudge.

It doesn’t take much for this smudge to be hidden or indistinct. Without it, I have to drive another half an hour before seeing the first possible patch of heather. On days like this, that means an anxious wait. I usually have just one chance every year to see the heather in full flower.. and this was it. I had missed it last year, seeing only the tail end of glory and was really hoping that this time, the timing would be right.

Ever since I moved away from Yorkshire, first to France and then to the south, the moors have called me home. In spring, when new life is beginning to break through the winter pall…even though the moors seem to change little at that time of year… and again mid-August.

It is a curious yearning. There is beauty enough in this land to heal any heart, without purple hills, but if you have heather in the blood, no other sight fills you will quite the same joy and sense of homecoming. When you are far away, it tugs at your heartstrings and I held my breath as I crested the hill.

I was out of luck. Low clouds and racing shadows obscured the view of the distant hills. I would have to wait until I rounded the corner below Gardom’s Edge… and there, the dull, faded purple was a body blow. Either the heather had not yet reached its full flowering or I had missed it…and it looked like the latter. The extremes of weather this year have thrown the flowering out of its usual pattern. I would see no vibrant purple hilltops, no seas of colour…and I was devastated.

It rained all the next day and we had meetings cross-country. The following day, I had an unexpected day to myself. A day when I had absolutely nothing to do except rest, potter and read, with no clocks to watch, no-one waiting and nothing at all demanding my attention.

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

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Nick of Time…

kites 465


…On our way back through Little Kimble, we pass St. Nicks of Ellesborough.
There are banners and notices outside the churchyard proclaiming that tomorrow the church and its tower will be open to the public and that for a small fee the tower can be climbed and… refreshments will be available!
“Can you believe that?”
“Just another coincidence.”
“To add to all the other coincidences that we seem to be collecting on this particular quest.”
“Maybe we’ve finally found the key.”
“…The key to what?”
“To the doors of the St. Nicholas Churches.”
“It’s got something to do with the landscape. We had to do that today, we had to see the land like that, and now that we have, we’re ready for the next stage.”
“Two till five… we can do that after we’ve done St. Lawrence’s. That’ll be three Churches in two days that have previously been locked to us.”
We flash past the Stone crucifix that guards the gate of St. Nick’s…
“It’s odd to have two St. Nick’s… so close to each other.”

Continue reading at France and Vincent

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Healing #midnighthaiku


Solace and healing

Losing istelf in wonder

The heart seeks beauty



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A Son’s Promise ~ Neel Anil Panicker #writephoto

The day his mother died Raman was by her bedside. As she lay on her death bed, she pressed him to her chest and whispered into his ears, “Ram, I am breathing my very last breaths. You need to be strong, and take care of yourself. And also, you need to promise…”

Her voice fell silent. An eerie silence filled the thatched one room mud hut.
Outside, lightning flashed, followed by thunder.

Light streaked through the tattered leaves, illuminating his mother’s face.
Helplessly, Ram stared at his mother’s gaunt bare boned face. Her eyes were a sunken hollow, her once lustrous hair now thinned to reveal the yellowed skull.
Cancer had sure eaten into her vitals, scooping clean all ounces of human life.
For an instant, Ram thought she had died.
Then, suddenly, he saw her lips had moved.
She was whispering.
He brought his ears closer to her mouth.

Continue reading at Neel Anil Panicker

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Beloved ~ Fleur McMorrow #writephoto

Unstoppable his journeying

Beloved Don Quixote…

Oh Time, travails, they’ve

Unraveled your mind, bent

Your stride, dwindled flesh

To mere silhouette…and yet

Your spirit flames unquenchable.

Continue reading at Word-Whelmed Woman

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Ghostlore: The Night Humphrey Dobson Had A Fright ~ Zteve T. Evans

Reblogged from Under the Influence:

Illustration by Charles Gliddon – Believed to be Public Domain

Presented below is a retelling of a story from Goblin Tales of Lancashire called the Pillion Lady collected by James Bowker.

The Pillion Lady

It had been a beautiful summer day and after conducting a good day’s business in the local market Humphrey Dobson had spent a few hours drinking with his friends in his favorite tavern. Deciding he had drank his fill he mounted his easy  tempered mare and set off on the road home.

It was a warm and balmy evening and the moon was throwing down her light making the road easy to follow.  There was one place along the route that Humphrey was always wary about. This was where a road crossed over a stream which was said to be the scene of where a maiden was murdered many years ago.  Nevertheless the moon was high and lighting the road sufficiently for Humphrey to see the stream and fortified by the beer he pushed on.

Continue reading at Under the Influence

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journey s

Imagine a world spinning green–
imagine standing under a tree,
beginning a journey
filled with the sky, an endless
searching of the horizon
for a way out of sorrow,

a constant companion–sorrow,
too, follows this path, like the green
stretching to the horizon–
but grief can rest in the shade of a tree,
above roots that touch endless
other wayfarers, merging together each journey–

thoughts turn into themselves, and the journey
becomes slippery with a sorrow
that slithers from an endless
dark place—hidden from the green,
waiting in corridors, like a tree
searching for the sun on the horizon–

wayfarer s

and yet each morning the horizon
opens again with light, and the journey
awakens and takes flight with the birds in the tree–
to come out from behind the sorrow,
to see instead the green
against the blue sky that holds the promise, endless

transformation , endless
colors that sparkle the horizon,

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A Giant Step for Mankind ~ Anurag Bakhshi #writephoto

It was the 12th day of our journey, and I was exhausted, drained of all the enthusiasm and excitement that I had started off with. I just wanted to reach our destination and get it all over with.

Next to me, Sophie was still chattering away to glory, immune to the vicissitudes of the arduous journey. Youth is like a superpower, I guess, though I didn’t remember being this full of beans when I was her age. To be fair, there’s little I remember from that far back.

My joints were stiff now, and each part of my body ached with the slightest movement. Plus were not really making good time, what with being able to travel only at night so that nobody could see us. And I was still doing it, all because of one little girl.

Continue reading at Jagahdilmein

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Camp Joffre ~ Léa at Found in France

Reblogged from Found in France:

 “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” – Albert Einstein

La belle France. Yet even the most beautiful of gardens have both thorns and weeds. The group Eurocultures invited me to visit Camp Rivesaltes otherwise known as Camp Joffre where we would visit a memorial to some of its darker past. A very short distance from the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean and just the other side of the tracks lies the remnants of a concentration camp.


Continue reading at Found in France

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Journey ~ Ritu Bhathal #writephoto

I saw him leaving this morning.

Jack Frost.

He shouldn’t be here right now. It looks like he took a detour on his journey to distribute his icy gifts to the world.

Continue reading at But I Smile Anyway

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