I'm remembering a landscape of stones. Stones of size and stature that embody a landscape with form and shape. Stones that hold mystery and meaning. Stones that integrate with other beings and elements to create diversity. I imagine it is beckoning me and awaiting the feel of my fingers and tread of foot.
The winter arrives with a promise of cold and darkness, and a landscape that opens to allow the wind and rain to permeate to every place and being. To me, the winter brings another source of life and energy. Not that of spring or summer, but one that dwells in the secrets that the wind whispers in the trees, in the transformations that winter light can bring to the hills and in the scents that arise from the dampening earth. It is strong, earthy and wild, yet possibly lonely but adventurous. You have to take yourself out of a comfortable place in order to seek it and be energised by it. It isn't for the unprepared - being cold and wet is not a good place in which to be.
In about four weeks I'll be back in a landscape that owes its being to the commanding nature of stones. Dartmoor. It will only be a short time there - just a couple of days. Not nearly long enough to retreat into it from the busyness of life and to get to know its subtle qualities of existence. For some reason my mind is dwelling on the bare rocks and stones that form the high wind swept tors, the softness of the mosses that cover rocks in the woodland and the cold colourful stones in the beds of clear streams. I am eager to meet them again - to touch, hold and smell them, and to acknowledge their presence in the landscape. Just like the ancients who created stone circles, the people who made hut circles, the farmers who built eternal walls and the destructive quarrymen have all done in the near and distant past. Stone is the landscape there and it has connected with the lives of humans for thousands of years in many differing ways.
I want to learn something from the stones this winter. I know I cannot hold more than just dreams nor expect nature to give up secrets just when I am there. I just have to be, to just observe and see what guides me.