From the age of 7 to 14 my family and I lived under the swell of the North Yorkshire Moors, and we would travel much of their breadth day in, day out to get to school. I knew the dips and turns of the road as well as I knew the lines creasing my palms.
I loved the moors best in winter, when blizzards would rise up and we’d be forced to turn back. ‘Turn back! Turn back! Turn back!’ We would chant, while clapping out hands and hitting our thighs.
I also loved the heather burning season. The moors were created by man thousands of years ago…a fact I don’t really want to believe is true. Settlers from Sweden, Norway and Denmark used fire a management tool, in much the same way as farmers continue to do today.
Though I was nearly always observant of my surroundings, I took it for granted. It was home, I was used to it. I could read a book on the bus, never minding the sun retreating behind the hills.
Nowadays I regret that. I regret not taking it all in. When my parents and I recently took the familiar journey, it was like the moors were welcoming me back, embracing the car with a thick fog and providing a gorgeously eerie outlook. This time around, nothing was taken for granted. I drank in everything and achieved the most beautiful sense of calm. Nature is always the remedy.