I have touched the heart of England twice in the past few weeks. The first was a weekend walking in Swaledale with a friend, the second was my daughter’s school summer concert.
Late June we escaped London and hiked the low dale and high moor. Quite breathtaking…
Viking village names speak of a history that is unchanged for centuries: Muker, Keld, Thwaite. Truly a place touched by God – the shape of the dales, and by man – the partition of the land.
This is James Herriott country, the bleakness of the moors softened by the gentleness of the meadows in the dales: “The airy roof of Yorkshire. It is like taking time out of life”
I remember this when I was a kid. We came here and played behind this waterfall. Now they don’t like to let people venture behind – health and safety…. I went anyway, for old times sake. Sod ’em
Back home I touched England a second time. A concert at school. As a tribute to a teacher retiring after 60 years service, 2 boys sang ‘Is my team ploughing’ from Butterworth’s setting of A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and bittersweet, hugely nostalgic. Impossible to keep a dry eye.
History of land, of loss, of remembrance, rebirth and regeneration. Swaledale and Butterworth. Of course a partial picture of England, but not a bad mix. I recommend both.
The pictures are for David, who almost admitted that this truly was God’s county.