Circles Beyond Time – Convoy

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We left Higger Tor after the sunrise and headed back to our respective breakfasts. Most would have to pack their bags too, before gathering for a final journey together. We were the lucky ones with time to spare and a drive back across the moors into the edges of the city. The early morning light was beautiful, though the first hint of autumn was showing in the iridescence of the clouds and the turning colours of the moor. For most of the year these high, wild places wear the colours of autumn… the russet, copper and pale gold that anywhere else would mean a sleeping time. It is only for a few brief weeks in late summer that they dress in amethyst and emerald and show their true colours. It matters little to me… though the heather makes my soul sing, it is the heart if the high places that speaks to mine.

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We gathered in the car park, most of us taking advantage of the clear, bright morning to capture last shots of Carl Wark where we had begun the journey so short a time before. A lot happens on these weekends and time seems to bear little relation to how much we manage to see, do and experience. As the party would be breaking up after lunch some miles away, we had ourselves a convoy as we headed back across the moors, passing Barbrook and Gardom’s and then onwards into territory we had yet to share.

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It is times like these that I don’t want a convoy… I want a mini-bus. “Over there to your left you can see the traces of the medieval ridge-and-furrow field system,” ” to your right you will see Devil’s Drop, officially known as Peter’s Rock, that features heavily in the Doomsday books,” “on the horizon you can see the huge hillfort above Great Hucklow where we hold our annual ritual workshop…” So many things I would have liked to point out and share… but there is only so much you can do. At least we could stop halfway and tell a tale or two.

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So we stopped at Monsal Head and looked out over the valley so high above sea level now, but whose rocks are made from petrified coral,  waiting for ice-cream and we told the legend of the beautiful shepherdess, Hedessa and the misshapen giant, Hulac Warren, who had loved her and of how she fell to her death to escape him…and how, where she fell, a healing spring welled from the ground. And we showed them where to look to see the giant’s form in the rocks.

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And we told them of the tragedy of Fin Cop, an enigmatic site upon the top of the hill. There too, like Carl Wark, there are walls that were built to protect an ancient enclosure. The wall stood ten feet high and in front of it was a deep trench and wide embankment. Yet it did not stop those who came with murderous intent. They took the plateau, a place of women and small children, toppling the walls upon their  victims, it seems. One of them was either heavily pregnant or bore a new-born child. Their bones were found beneath the stones.

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The ice-cream was still not forthcoming and time was getting short. There would be no time on this to do more than look at the valley from our vantage point, which was a shame as there is a lot  to see here. Through the valley, the river winds; in places, wide and slow, in others magical and strewn with flowers. There is even a waterfall…and high on the hillside, a fairy castle…or so it seems… that hides a cave where yet another skeleton was found. To look at the beauty of the place, you would never guess that it hides such tragedy… yet that too is a lesson and is true of many faces, not just places.

river wye weir

We piled back into the cars and headed off on the final leg of our journey, leaving the heather and bracken behind and entering into the other Derbyshire, of rolling green hills and dry stone walls. It is a very different landscape, yet you can see it shares a common ancestry with the high places, where the pale rocks thrust through the green of the fields. We were heading for the great stone circle of Arbor Low…

 Arbor Low and Stanton Moor Imbolc 001 (11)

30 thoughts on “Circles Beyond Time – Convoy

  1. “To look at the beauty of the place, you would never guess that it hides such tragedy… yet that too is a lesson and is true of many faces, not just places.” – YES! and…I hope, whenever I arrive to partake, I get to ride in the convoy car or mini-bus, with ya – because, in my world? I will trade my share of ice cream for getting to hear the story, as I see the place it was born in – 🙂

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      1. I know – I’m rather down hearted and needed to know, one other person believes I will arrive to hear the in-person version – sigh – thanks for understanding – I’m not giving up – just really, really questioning, just now – 🙂

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      2. Yes, I know – and I thank you for the ‘momentary whine’ support and reinforcement of my dream – 🙂 I was ‘shared’ a ‘run a bookstore’ in Scotland tourist link on Facebook clan – seriously -things so nuttso here I no longer trust any internet links – LOL – BUT…it is comforting to know, come what may, there is still a glimmer of hope that, with air fare, I might find a way to visit, given working, weeding, grunt labor, shop keep in exchange for bed/some protein/cheese/fermented beverage to truly experience the land/history across the ocean from me – I have romantic, idealistic dreams of such things, but, given my current status, and what I think can be done, anymore, I’m rather tired of the whole, “tourist take” thingee – seriously! I used to gape in incredulity at those tourists that showed up on the eastern plains of Colorado and asked when they would get out of Kansas and hit Colorado Skiing areas – 🙂 I swear! Big Time – I think the delay is the universal kindness of me not making an arse out of my visiting self and giving me more time to better learn the true history of the locales – 🙂 At least, that’s my current story – I like to take the ‘long view of why” – LOL

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      3. I have made connections the past few years, true! And so grateful for such things! And loads of community gardeners, etc., an local landscape guides when I arrive in area (thank you, cuz I really do want to explore both the Scottish Moors AND Shrewsbury, in depth – sigh – there are times I think, “just do what you can, to get there once – if it’s meant to be, it will work out to stay longer – ” and others, I think, “I simply won’t go until I won’t be rushed/hurried/scurried through such treasures and meeting in person of long followed bloggers given tight schedule – I ever get there? I’m staying until the history and land are embedded in my bones – 🙂 I swear, often, LOL – I wish I could get to the place of being so ultra confident as so many around me are – 🙂 I realize I’m healing and getting things in place for such a trip, BUT on other hand, I sometimes, do, dream of ‘I can just sign up, go, learn, do, without worrying about what happens when I want to stay at least 3 months longer than what I budgeted for – LOL

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      4. I feel much the same way about my dream of moving back north. No idea of how or if it will/can happen… but I dream, trust and work towards it, knowing that it will if it should…when I’m ready.

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      5. I *think* I hear ya – Often, you post pics/memes with what, to my eyes, look like my beloved homeland – prairie grasslands, rolling hills that, from distance, look flat – the wildness of thunderstorms – the harshness of winter, the fragile and yet lasting beauty of spring/short lived summer plants – I may be projecting, but so often, when I read your works, your words – when I learn about history as shown in BBC documentaries on the history of Northern England/Scotland – I think, “I may not understand/know the history, BUT, when a native posts that picture, I completely UNDERSTAND why it is so near and dear – 🙂

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      6. Yes, which is why, I’m so grateful my login time tonight, coincided with you being here – I don’t think we are exactly the same, but I feel that at a deep level, we have a deep love of similar things – and thus, it makes me feel connected better, to a world I increasingly, for many years, so apart from – 😀 I was raised with the religious, historical, esoteric, and divisive versions of “be of this world, not in it” but I still struggle and find myself writing/less and less as I realize, more and more, that what I think and yearn for, has been said so many times over, why repeat it? what will it matter? really? And yet, there’s still such a part of me that truly feels, “to give up sharing and listening, we abandoned all hope.” 🙂 Very disturbed, as, have been humans for centuries, over ‘what is right/what not) – but at least, to my mind, there is comfort in the fact “You buy into this and are being oblivious/ignorant? Mother Nature will deal with you and no problemo – ” LOL and, figure that motto applies to moi, just as much, if not more, than others, for I did say so, out loud, and thus, I must stand up for such things – 🙂 LOL But, I would love to once, before I die, see the Moors in springtime – 🙂

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      7. You soooo know my heart:) I listened to American Clan members stories of the moors/heather this year at my local Celtic Fair Festival – Can’t wait to share with you the tales I heard here, across time and space, this summer, locally – over a glass of health-giving, fermented beverage – – LOL – 🙂 I did really latch onto the love of the Clan history that shared the story of the horse that announced made it across hill and dale to let the home folk know how the battle went, long before the official scribes/messengers delivered such news – joy/sadness – etc., all at once = 🙂 But to moi, some things, when understood, just become universal among us all – 🙂

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      8. Dearest Sue – Thanks for the ‘convo’ tonight – I cannot, ever, express, really, how much discourse with those who live somewhere totally different from me, yet I still share some common bonds with, here and there, means, to me, for being willing to go to bed, tackle the ‘to-do’ list tomorrow and feel hopeful it may all end up being okay without yet another Fire Drill to fix past mistakes -sigh…things so upside down/sideways here, I no longer even begin to trust anything without deep research – LOL – ah well – like kidney stones….LOL

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      9. And, lest you think me lacking in faith – I seriously, often think, “all i have to do is get there, to take care of those things I promised to do, and, others connected with will either share room/ or trade or refer me to someone who can do so – BUT, because I’m not well traveled, except in my mind/heart, I always question the realistic possiblities of my own idealistic heart dreams – 🙂 But I have me own lil list -which includes visits/lunch with American bloggy pals all the way to the Eastern Seaboard, and SOMEDAY I will do so, just had to finally give up on hard time line, just now – 🙂 But I haven’t quit dreaming/planning for! 🙂

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      10. Yes, as I figure northern England/Southern Scotland is where you will be – unless you get a wild hare to see what Colorado USA looks like – fully plan on finally sharing tea/glass of wine with you on foreign to me soil – and okey-dokey with me – 🙂

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      11. Probably so, but really trying hard not to be a presumptuous, opportunistic, selfish, All-about-me- American while traveling – LOL – over the years? I just laugh, now, that I was worried that I am really deficient in dialects/foreign language schooling/learning – for, seems to be standard answer, “You’ll be fine – you say please and thank you.” and I think, “Well! of COURSE I DO! DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY YEARS I”VE SERVED TOURISTS WHO THINK….?!?” – Lol = and yet – the ludicrousy of failure to think about the past as it applies to now, this year, really, for me, has reached such a malestrom, here, for me, that I really have to wonder -= “Am I losing what lil’ bit of thinking mind I had left?” You realize, though I have been silent on posting so much or commenting – heck, I haven’t even been likey-liking like I usually do – LOL – I still rather have, after months of consideration, hit the wall – dollar late and day short, if you will, but Criminiy (am I, non UKer aloud to use Bloody Hell? or not? – cuz yes, feel THAT strongly about such things, unless not such a big thing any more, in which case, feel free to tell me the New, “This is REALLY serious, folks! ” missive – LOL

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  2. The valley was beautiful – I would love to explore it more one day, especially along the river. And yes, time did seem to stretch over the weekend, so much happened it was hard to believe it was only three days, yet I didn’t want it to end. 😀

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