I was thinking about one of my favourite places today, and while for me it is the high moors, there are other things to see in Ilkley. As a child I used to love stepping off the train into the old station, knowing there would be perhaps the visit to the church with the Roman altar to Verbeia. Or maybe we would walk down to the river and skim pebbles on the water. Or visit the stepping stones.
Most of the time, though, we would walk up through the little garden that borders the stream, popping the ripe seed heads of the balsam and watching the tiny projectiles fire incredible distances. Even then it felt wrong to make them pop. They had to be ready to explode at a mere touch.
As the hill rose higher, so did the Victorian mansions beside the road, until, with a final burst of pride, they gave way to the green and gold of the moors.
The next adventure was to choose which way. Go right and there was the long walk to the pool above Heber’s Ghyll, not quite big enough to swim, but enough to bathe in the cold, clear water. Beyond that stood the Swastika Stone, with its strange fire symbol, overhanging the moor edge.
We could go straight up.. there was White Wells and the old pool there, steeped, for a child in mystery. And once upon a time a café with a wooden veranda where we would get frothy Horlicks and share a table with the wandering sheep. Then we could go higher up the moor to the lonelier areas away from the tourists, where prehistoric petroglyphs were waiting to be found once more, barrows lie quiet and stone circles lie unnoticed in the heather.
Or we could go left, maybe up through the Giant’s Skirtful, past the hidden altar and beyond the Cow and Calf to my special place by the Haystack with its hidden, double circle of stones and the Giant’s head watching over the valley below.
And, of course, it didn’t matter. There was, perhaps, a pang of regret for a moment as we set off in one direction when I had hoped to go in another, but all the pathways led to wonders over a land I love. For me the whole area is magical and alive with legends.
But the land does not end at the edge of the moors, nor do the wonders. Many paths lead down from the high places, Like the rays of a star taking many directions towards a myriad destinations. The roads, paths and lanes are all joined somehow, as if there is only one road through the entire landscape, a labyrinth inviting the footsteps of the traveller, and all the roads lead to where the heart longs to be.
Life, it seems, does the same thing. Wherever we start, no matter what roads we take, we always end up where we are going. We may take a circuitous route or a straight one, we may change our minds along the way and think we have taken a different road, but really, they are all One, and all roads lead Home in the end.
The Aetheling Thing Dark Sage Scions of Albion
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Don and Wen, following the breadcrumb trail of arcane lore and ancient knowledge, scattered across the landscape of time, turn their attention to the myths and legends of Old Albion. They delve into the tales of King Arthur, asking some very strange questions about biblical family trees and exploring the many stories that abound in the very landscape of Avalon. Meanwhile, in Derbyshire, the voices of the past still whisper from the stones, opening a passage through time, place and memory to another world…
Doomsday: The Ætheling Thing
How is it possible to hide such a story… the hidden history of Christianity in Britain? Oh, there are legends of course… old tales… Yet what if there was truth in them? What was it that gave these blessed isles such a special place in the minds of our forefathers? There are some things you are not taught in Sunday School. From the stone circles of the north to the Isle of Avalon, Don and Wen follow the breadcrumbs of history and forgotten lore to uncover a secret veiled in plain sight.
Doomsday: Dark Sage
…. something was spawned up on the moor… something black that flew on dark wings. It heeds not time or place… but it seems to have developed a penchant for the travels of Don and Wen….
“Are those two still at it?”
Doomsday: Scions of Albion
Things are getting serious…
Exactly what is Wen doing with that crowbar and why is she wearing a balaclava?
All will be revealed…or will it?
Follow the story begun in The Initiate and the Triad of Albion, as Don and Wen explore the ancient land.
Beautiful post and descriptions and I love the final paragraph!
Thank you.You’ll have gathered it is a special place for me.
So Lovely! I always know where to come to find an Inspirational Vision 🙂 Thank You!
Thank you, Morgan 🙂
I loved this – the last line especially. Your posts are my weekend escape and reflection, Sue.
That’s a beautiful comment, Katie. Thank you.
A beautiful thought, Sue: “all roads lead Home in the end.” When I think of the path I’ve taken in life, I wouldn’t change a thing … even the bumpy roads led to some good outcomes. 🙂
In retrospect the bumpy bits are often the best 🙂
We shared a love for these moors, and her words are so very wise and poignant. Thanks for sharing!
That last line is very uplifting, thank you!