• Dee Lister

January dawn on the moors

Updated: Jan 23, 2021


What bliss is this to be in the wilds

With wind and snow-covered grass

Ice to water on ground below

River and rivulets rushing forth from distance heights

Move and flow, move and flow, move and flow

What bliss is this to be in the wilds

With winter rain, rough tracks meet muted skies

Weaving magic in the air

With whispers of colour

Ephemeral spread

Just walk and be silent

Listen with your heart, listen

See-through layers of earth

And be one with the land

Let the animal in you call

And rest

To the wild bliss

When I looked outside at 620am and it was raining, the snow that had fallen thickly in velvet sheets the previous evening had all but disappeared. It was disappointing, but high up the ground would likely be still cushioned in snow. The weather forecast showed a break in the downpour, should I venture out?

I'm blessed with neighbouring the West Pennine Moors. UK lockdown means adventures nearby and the moors are a wild bliss enough to satisfy my nomadic desires and daily call to spend time in nature. A friend kindly showed me another walk recently and it was thrilling to think I could experience the beautiful vastness for myself. Today was the day.

I didn't leave the house for pre-dawn, an hour or so before sunrise (at 815am) as the tripod was staying home, not wanting to be unstable should there be ice. It was around 745am when I arrived. This is the quiet time just before the sun rose in earnest, pale blues smiling across the sky.

January is nearly passed and it's possible to hear the birds more actively beginning their days. It is an incomparable pleasure, no a privilege, to be out at this time delighting in nature's song rather than chowing down on breakfast under artificial lights.

I walked to the gate and moved along the path. Many caves of stone reached up layer-upon-layer like the rock formations I saw gliding along Silverdale beach last year. There was a storm of energy to my left as water dashed, rushed and swished along. It thundered it's way forward.

A person and their dog wandered, moving into some a British and weather-filled polite conversation.

I continued on my way and met another tree. It guarded the land like the majestic oak standing outside Holme Wood in the Forest of Bowland. This tree also faced a drama of weather and held space so human wanderers would pass with a quiet though imposing warning. Walking on, the path soon traversed tiny streams of water and ice. Trusty borrowed walking pole in hand (thank you friend!) allowed for smooth passing. Before me revealed stories waiting to be told. A number of paths lay ahead with different opportunities. Which way to go?

I chose to walk right up the short steep incline that led to the moors. Here sheep were enjoying breakfast before moving away in a steady stream.

I walked the rough track noting the sunrise to the east. A strip of brightened sky was overshadowed by rain clouds.

The slow spread of gentle colours offset the grey-browns of stone and mud mingled with the dazzle of blanketed white spread across the land.

It gives me a sense of calm, a oneness with the earth, being out at dawn. I can't help wanting to sing about this to the world, though expect it becomes tedious for some.

Thoughts wash through my mind like froth on a wave, unstuck, light and liquid. My body moves more freely with the contours of the land, less urk and ache, more flow and hush.

Here in the wilds I remember again and again how life is a blessing. Especially so when considering how many are cordoned off from nature's magic during turbulent times.

I walked a while, stood, walked some more, before coming to a stop and sitting on a grassy tuffett. Well, falling may be more accurate as feet slid a little on mud. Sat looking around me, I savoured the scene and feeling, refusing to let the chill be framed as anything be enlivening.

A flurry of large and hail-like rain began to fall with unexpected hurriedness. I decided to start the journey back and laughed as the shock of cold rain water and the swift adventuring wind confronted me.

Pushing away a habitual oh-no-ness, facing the weather in this wilderness left me feeling so alive and also grateful. I'm blessed with knowing a warm and safe house awaited me, as well as space to reflect and share a story on the awe-inspiring beauty and magic of the wilderness.

Thank you for reading and wishing you well.

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