05 April 2010
where I live/where I love
West Yorkshire (between Keighley & Ilkley)
This part of the moor does not have its own name, it lies to the west of Rombalds Moor, the furthest reach of the famous Ilkley Moor, the last finger of it pointing towards the mill-sprung stone cities of Leeds and Bradford.
Early spring, the ground is boggy and the sky in this moment looks likely to make it more sodden, but then, looking in the other direction the hard blue colour makes jewels out of the puddles.
I walk along the old road between Keighley and Ilkley, not one of the more remote places of the world, but barely touched by feet in the scheme of things today; occasional dog walkers, hikers, and myself, come up here for the solitude.
Today the heather is browned, still burnt in places, without the purpled bloom to which it gives its name; today it is too wet to sit on and feel it bounce and spring underneath me and so I sit at the base of Cowpers Cross and look at the sky.
I come here to look at the sky and the moor and the size of the world, perched on a hill on the edge of one of the densest urban conurbations in the north of England and am mostly utterly alone in a tousled world that is harsh and starkly beautiful.
It is different almost every time, for the biggest part of the scenery is the sky and the light on the moor; and no matter what mood I take up there with me, I almost always come down more tranquil.
Note Jan 2011: Included in the >language >place Edition #3 blog carnival