Tuesday morning, we picked Nick up and went to meet the girls. We took the long way round… just to share the morning and the moors. It was reasonable weather, chilly and windy but dry…and that was all we needed. It is natural to want the best of everything, including the weather, but sometimes the real ‘best’ is not what we think. The moors and the ancient sites under blue skies are amazing… but when the clouds come down to play and heaven seems no more than a touch away, the moors show their soul.
The girls arrived at the rendezvous and we set off for Barbrook, the central site that inspired the workshop and the heart of the story. It is not an impressive site at first glance, but this corner of the moors has enough archaeology to keep you occupied for a lifetime. Unfortunately, the paths leading to the sites are really unsuitable for wheelchairs…but we were not about to let a small detail like that get in the way. Nick would, at the very least, reach the stone circle.
Pushing a wheelchair, even around town, is not as easy as it looks. There is a knack to handling the weight and the wheels. Pushing a wheelchair over rocky, potholed ruts, worn by weather, feet and vehicles, is an act of either lunacy or heroism…perhaps both. When the wheelchair failed it was left by the path, shoulders were given and Nick walked the rest of the way to Barbrook One.
We left him there, sitting with his back against the Seeing Stone, meditating and contemplating the beauty of the landscape laid out before him. Stuart took the camera for a walk while I took the girls on to Barbrook Two through the cairn-field. Looking back, I could see the abandoned wheelchair and the seated form against the stones…
Walking through last-year’s heather, following a path between the cairns that hold the remains of a people long-forgotten, the moor seems to wrap you in its aura. Time falls away here and reveals its fallacy. There is no then and now, only a timeless relationship between Man and Land that seems held in the glittering stones that are the bones of the earth. Each in our own way touched that timelessness.
Drawn by the land, Alethea sought out the ancient places. Deb explored , finding a Raven in the stones that was unmistakable. Nick and Stuart touched the silence of stone…and I walked the paths of home. It was a morning of silent gifts… and the day was far from over.