It has been a while since I posted a blog. Fatigue and health weirdness, followed by catching Covid, had me rather getting through each day, resting, and preserving energy where possible. I have never been quite so comforted or grateful of Winter. Most of nature was in the same mode, taking the time to retreat inside, staying cosy and letting go of external pressure to push against the flow. The gift of Winter is the permission to do just this, whilst also observing that change happens without striving.
I acknowledged the need to pace my road forward, following the slow and steady motto, to avoid any setbacks. There was an urge to rush like an overexcited child into all I had missed. I was itching to be back on the moor, yet the weather encouraged me to literally wait out the storms. The time became right when, on a world scale, things are moving from scary to scarier. I wanted to be reminded of the wonder that I know to exist.
A passing memory in the morning, shifted me out of my original plan and rooted the idea of revisiting Lowery Tor. I first came upon this tor by following a crow. Crows were particularly prominent in my life at this time. I sat on a wall, considering where I should wander. The crow perched in a nearby tree. We noticed each other. I was feeling especially whimsical on this day, interpreting the crows persistent circling, returning to the branch, and crow crowing, as a sign that he wanted me to follow him. I chose to play along with my strange thoughts, after all, I had no better idea of where to walk, and there was a giggly sense of intrigue to my experiment.
I do not think I ever truly believed the crow was leading me anywhere, yet he flew from tree to tree, seemingly leading me on with a “crow, crow”. Even when I was shoulder deep in ferns, and questioning my sanity, the crow kept calling, and I kept following. The result was finding Lowery Tor on the hillside above with a sense of wow and wonder. I had planned to seek out this tor at some point, it was astonishing that the crow had led me to stand beneath it, with a clear route of ascent.
I took an easier approach to Lowery Tor this time. It is a lesser-known tor, so the OS was of no use, but the tor was also not hidden. I remembered a substantial track running directly alongside it higher up the hill, so I thought it would be an easy bimble. Let us just say I headed a little off track, and on to rough ground before I spotted it noticeably settled on the hillside. Where is a guiding crow when you need one?
The moor has a certain humour to it, as I began to feel the satisfaction of the proximity to my goal, the clouds descended, and the wind made itself know. I had imagined drinking from my flask, taking in the view over Burrator Reservoir. Instead, I was picking up speed towards the shelter of the trees, only able to see my immediate surroundings, smiling from ear to ear at the irony.
The trees made an impressive umbrella. The wall to my back, impenetrable to the wind. The restricted visibility gave the illusion that I was in a protective odd-shaped bubble, sheltered as I watched the cloudy drizzle being pushed along by the wind. I was somehow separated from the world beyond. I drank my cuppa, noticing I was not the only creature to have experienced the sanctuary of this spot.
When the drizzle had passed, I returned to Lowery Tor, and paused again to take in the view. The remnant cloud was moving on, opening patches of welcomed blue sky.
I started the soulful wander back to my car, only to be amusingly met by many crows. In the nearby tree, in the sky, like lights along a runway, they signalled the way to Lower Leather Tor. It would have felt rude not to follow.
I could see all the way to The Sound and admired the sun’s reflection off the distant sea. My eye sought out the familiar tors across the many valleys, treating my mind to recall the many adventurous memories, whilst inspiring more of the same.
I am aware there are many troubles ahead, but I am no longer sure how to process the wider world around me. I have no influence over those determined on a path of corruption and destruction. What I know is that I love our beautiful blue and green planet. We are neighbours with all whom we share this miracle. We must know and reflect that there is no stronger force than love.