We left the girls in Bakewell, arranging to meet the next day. Stuart and I had to reunite Nick with his electric wheelchair so that he could get himself to the youth hostel in Hathersage, where he would be staying for the next couple of nights. He needs to use public transport for that as the chair is too big and too heavy for an unadapted car. But even writing that sounds improbable, given where he has come from.
There are a good many things that seem impossible for Nick to achieve. Even with the Mountain Trike there are places he would not be able to go and the trike too requires special transport. One of his dreams has been to be alone on the top of the moors; they run in his blood too. One of mine has been to get him to Derbyshire and show him the places I love so much. Once he had settled his bags and ditched the electric chair again, we collected him and set off to make at least part of those dreams come true. Quite how much, even I had no idea.
We drove for a while, showing him Carl Wark and Higger Tor, taking him on a short tour of the area and letting him get a sense of the place, then headed towards Curbar. We were too late for ice-cream, but it is one of those places where there are paths onto the edge of the moor that are almost accessible to wheelchairs. We could, at least, show him the view… Or my companion, taking matters into his own hands, could push the chair right up onto the moors, ignoring the fact that those paths are totally unsuited for pushing anything.
The wind was blowing a gale…you could barely hear yourself think, let alone hold a conversation…but the sun was shining on the rocks, making them sparkle as if strewn with magic. The sky was blue and the earth that impossible green of springtime. It was to places like these that I brought my sons when they were young…and places like these that have seemed out of reach to Nick.
My own love of this land goes deep. We left Nick alone with the wind and the moors and took shelter behind a rock. I don’t think it was the wind in my eyes that left them streaming with tears. This is always a beautiful place, especially when the heather blooms. But it has never seemed more beautiful to me than when, for love, I saw a dream come true.