Yorkshire, Ilkley Moor, September 14th 2022…
A mixture of administrative mishap and impromptu decision making found us once
again in the beer garden of the Cow & Calf Hotel on the lip of Ilkley Moor to mark what
would have been Sue’s sixty-fourth birthday…
Needless to say, we were greeted
by the sight of a red kite
soaring on the thermals in the sky overhead.
We watched for a time as the kite
defended its air-space from an encroaching buzzard.
…It was a fitting enough place to be
as Sue had nurtured a life-long love of the moor and we had
developed what became the Landscape Weekend Workshops
over the course of a number of exciting sojourns here.
This time I was determined to get a comparable photograph
of what we had come to call,
The Sleeping Giant, the monument
which Sue discovered on the fringes of her beloved
Sue’s original photograph.
This, though, was not going to be easy…
A similar mission in April, earlier this year, had
ended in abject failure…
And on the journey down here, this time, my thoughts turned to
why that should have been the case.
The monument, seemingly,
only reveals itself from a precise spot, and angle, on the moor
and on the morning of its first discovery
we also had the boon of a heavy mist to dampen
any accompanying distractions to its cunningly arranged form.
On the day, the closest we got to Sue’s original ‘shot’. Wrong angle, wrong height, too close… other than that!
Although the early autumn sun was a welcome surprise and added an unexpected
dimension to our day out, it was unlikely to aid the successful completion of the mission in
hand, in fact it was more than likely to hinder such an outcome.
The unusually good summer too, it transpired,
was also conspiring to render any hopes of
a comparable image futile.
The bracken when we got onto the moor,
and in range of the monument, was still
running… well, rampant, actually,
and its wild growth was obscuring most of what could
be seen of our prostrate giant.
‘Bugger!’ as Sue would have said…
and then, ‘Not to worry, we get what we get…’
What we, in fact, got was yet another,
potentially, mind blowing revelation…
Head, arm, fulsome breast, protruding belly, and lower limbs…
From this angle the monument looks like nothing less
than a recumbent, feminine form,
and if that is, indeed, what it is,
it might mean that our sleeping giant, is in fact,
slumbering within the womb of a goddess?…
And that, my friends, means that this monument
could be regarded as illustrating at least two-thirds
of the birth/death/re-birth process…
I dare say,
Sue might well have thought so…