As I age my relationship with the land changes. Whilst I have always believed the land is for playing in and the outdoors is best, I am slowly becoming more open to land being for everyone. I’ll admit it I’m getting better at sharing.
I was walking up and a round a route called the Fairfield Horseshoe the other day and I suddenly felt no singular ownership, or no sole possession of the land. I came to the conclusion this is my playground, but it’s yours too. Which makes it OURS. I think localism and ownership becomes rife, especially in heavily visited areas like the Lakes. Bur as long as everyone is being safe and considerate all people really want to do is bask in the beauty that has been created for us.
Now, I’m not sure where I lie on the whole religion thing, but when. Your high up looking over the beauty that lays before you it’s hard to believe it happened by accident. I think that is my place of salvation. The hills and the sea. Place of beauty where it is hard to ignore what’s sitting in front of you.
Back to my sharing concept. Now if someone told you that you weren’t allowed in a place of worship because you weren’t religious enough you’d be pretty shocked. So likewise with the hills, it would be ridiculous to say your not allowed in because your not outdoorsy enough. However, my one request is that people respect this beautiful landscape that we ALL adore and cherish. It can be a cruel mistress. So dress appropriately, take a map and know how to use it, take your rubbish home. But most importantly, enjoy the simplicity of the very beauty you are going through. The purity of moving under your own steam and watching over land that hasn’t changed fundamentally for centuries, if you ignore the footpaths and housing!
My favourite thing about coming home is listening to the birds twitter constantly, they are louder here I swear! My other favourite thing is the greenness of the grass and fields. That sounds ridiculous, but when I was in Australia surrounded by beautiful vivid blues, white sands and lush forest, upon occassion I would miss the intense greenness of the British countryside. Lying in the grass and not worrying about bindis! Bliss.
So go forth and share your playgrounds. I know I am going to. After all, the more people who love the very land we live in, the more chance we have of saving it for future generations.