There was an amazing moon last night. I don’t care what it was or what it signified – it just was fantastic. I had been down in Liverpool all day (sunny and lovely in the morning; raining in the afternoon; travelling by train all over the place) and as I drove back home along the airport road from Carlisle the moon took my breath away.
Because I had been in Liverpool on site visits I had my camera with me… I turned left towards Irthington thinking that I might find a good spot to take a picture of the moon, hoping that it wouldn’t disappear completely behind the clouds before I did, but found nowhere suitable. I thought of driving up towards Walton but that seemed a bit excessive – and then I remembered that I had got a good photo at Talkin Tarn the other evening.
Off I headed, via the winding country lanes, to Talkin Tarn – only to zoom into the car park and find the moon couldn’t be seen at all! At that point I gave up and went home.
Why was I so desperate to get a photo of it? Because it was the most amazing orangey-pinky colour, but striped by clouds: you know how it can be sometimes. Simply, it looked stunning and I wanted to capture the moment and save it for ever.
Perhaps the very best moments can’t be captured and held still like that though – perhaps they only live on in your memory. Perhaps that’s best: they’re so personal. We can talk about them and write about them and discover that someone else felt a similar way at a similar moment, but the photos come out flat and the words never truly describe how you felt (great artistry, I think, is when someone captures in words or music or a picture exactly how you did feel: when you can look at something or hear it and say ‘yes, that’s it, that’s how I felt’).
This morning then dawned sunny and blue: another of those glorious autumnal days which Cumbria (in particular) does so well. It was not a day for staying in and working without cease, so I dressed in running attire (to keep me motivated), and once I’d done what my conscience told me I should in terms of work, I headed out and up on to the hill. I am so lucky that there is a hill nearby with trees to meander among and lovely views of the sky and off into the distance. I’ve described it here so many times before that I’m not going to again, except that I never tire of it and part of me just wants to reiterate how glorious it is peering through the branches and foliage out into the distance, or standing at the gate before you enter the wood and just gazing across towards the north.
On the way home I paused at a kissing gate and admired the view for the umpteenth time. I was conscious of the noises around me: primarily the leaves, growing drier and getting ready to fall, rustling in the breeze. In the distance some birds were shrieking; children could be heard, excited at being released into the school playground and out of lessons; someone in the distance was doing a final cut of his or her lawn before winter; a plane rumbled gently far overhead. The sky was that cold, clear blue that autumn does so well on beautiful days like today.
My senses were alert: I guess it’s the mindfulness of running again. In addition to the sounds around me, there was the smell of new wood where fences and gates had been repaired in the woods; the touch under my feet of leaves or mud or dry sandy ground; the sight of leaves obscuring a path or the contrast of the leaves which have fallen and those which are still green; of the heavens in the distance; and the taste of swallowing a fly as I ran along with my mouth open at the wrong moment!
Woods on a hill. One of ‘my’ places. I am lucky that I ended up here.