Richness on the world

Richness on the world

A lovely summer image of blueness infusing the landscape. The hills Lullingford way were blue as a summer sky, a deep promising blue, and there was a richness on the world. Wishing you richness on the world, wherever you are. Source: Mary Webb, Precious Bane...
Sand bars like snow drifts

Sand bars like snow drifts

A magical description of ephemeral islands rising and sinking with time and tide.  From Maxwell’s fine account of time spent on a Scottish island, anything but ephemeral. Sand bars as white as snow-drifts and jewelled with bright shells rise between the islands...
To shout with grass

To shout with grass

Isn’t that exhilarating, the land shouting with grass?  And due to successive years of dousing rain, it feels lush and burstingly, verdantly abundant.   There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of...
Every journey starts somewhere

Every journey starts somewhere

James Rebanks had a childhood awakening when accompanying his grandfather on a tractor, making the connection between his family, their farm, and the gulls and the plough.  It’s a fitting start to a heartfelt journey from that ‘ancient farming world’...
Our land is a poem

Our land is a poem

A lovely description of a landscape as poetry in motion, slow sedimentary layers added by successive generations.  Maybe recent layers showing devastation of rich old forests and all round biodiversity will give way to more trees, plants and a wide range of species of...
Live wisely, live well

Live wisely, live well

Isn’t this all we’re trying to do when we talk about ‘sustainability’, ‘circular economy’, or climate change?  When it’s put so simply, it sounds easy, but we have a long way to go before we can see our stifling ignorance fall...
In love with an island

In love with an island

After about three decades and three months, Golding finally realized his war-postponed dream of visiting Ithaca.  With such a level of high expectation and anticipation, you might expect the reality of the place to disappoint.  Anything but, it transported him and was...
Intoxicating Ithaca

Intoxicating Ithaca

Golding took several decades to realize his dream of visiting Ithaca, and a few months to make his own odyssean journey there by way of Troy.  Many of his descriptions of this and other Greek islands are intoxicating in their brightness and warmth, particularly as one...
To look and be wonderful

To look and be wonderful

A favourite four-character phrase in Chinese is biao li ru yi meaning something like ‘surface-inside-as-one’, in other words being what you seem, which is to say, authentic.  It soon presented itself as an essential component of a nuannaarpoq...
Of place and memory

Of place and memory

I had never realised that this is perhaps an article of faith with me until I read of Nicolson’s belief in place as a repository of memory.  I remember stepping into a house beautiful in its architecture, position, layout and furnishings, but so steeped in...
A dream summer scene

A dream summer scene

One of the charms of Miklos Banffy’s superb Transylvanian Trilogy is the evocative and tapestried description of landscapes by a man who knew and loved them in their detail, and who, when he was writing, knew that many of them were no longer accessible to him....
Hefted to a landscape

Hefted to a landscape

One of the delights of repeated exposure to a landscape is the growing level of granularity in our observation and enjoyment of it. A hedgerow or embankment or copse yields more beauty and variety the more we see it. Here George Eliot evokes the tenderness of...
A new sparkling world

A new sparkling world

As winter is ushered out the door ever earlier and the last of the snow visible on the Jura melts, I wave goodbye to it with this magical moment. Snow may become something of a rarity in a warming world.In any case, do not make yourself hurry.’But Dorothea could...
Unwritten knowledge

Unwritten knowledge

Our relationship with landscape fascinates me, particularly when it manifests in people who have a deep knowledge and love of a particular place, whether from an agricultural, historical, geological or other angle. This quotation is from a love letter to a landscape...
The bees’ feet

The bees’ feet

Two zooming micro-miracles singing the arrival of summer – bees’ feet shaking heather bells and the ‘sap-stealing dodder’ twining around furze spikes.   ‘When the bees’ feet shake the bells of the heather, and the ruddy strings...
An ageless conversation

An ageless conversation

This distinction between individual and collective dreams comes from the book that inspired nuannaarpoq.com. Both types can fuse into our future, making or breaking it in terms of whether it is bright, liveable or simply bleak. Arctic Dreams probes many of the issues...
This land …

This land …

Our relationship to landscapes fascinates me.  Partly it’s our reaction to a physical landscape, as when we are bowled over by a view of the sea, rolling hills, desert, meadow or mountains. But it’s also the idea of a place and its cultural or personal...
Listening to landscape

Listening to landscape

We tend to think of our engagement with landscapes in visual terms – you ‘look’ at a view or a landscape. I like this shift from looking to listening. Ideally both at the same time. Some time in the next week or month, feel free to spend a few...

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