BRIAN CARTER: Celebration of high land
BRITISH hills represent the familiar, the unknown, the unexpected, and the changeless.
And in prose, poetry, pictures and music we salute and celebrate their appeal.
So a particular hill, or group of hills, can pass intact from one generation to the next.
Throughout history, an elite band of writers, artists, poets and composers have demonstrated that their lives and certain landscapes are inseparable.
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And even if you lack the creative vision, you can still walk in their footsteps and respond to the vibes.
Wordsworth's lakes, Thomas Hardy's Dorset, Elgar's Malvern Hills; Yeats' Southern Ireland, Housman's dream-Shrophire; and Emily Bronte's Yorkshire Moors — the list of famous relationships spanning the centuries is long.
As a vintage walker, I agree with FW Faber who wrote: "There, is a power to bless in hillside loneliness, in tarns and dreary places."
Charles Lamb does it better with his "Your mountains haunt me perpetually. I am like a man falling in love unknown to himself."
A fan of the West Coast of Ireland, I'm moved by the words of Somerville and Ross: "The road to Connemara lies white across the memory, white and very quiet."
Sure, and isn't that the essence of that heavenly place?
Wordsworth speaks for the whole nation.
But others, denied his booming cadences, re-affirm old bonds and affinities.
In 'Kim', Ryduard Kipling says: "Who goes to the hills, goes to his mother."
Well, in my case, that would mean a visit to the celestial pub in the sky, with Mam supping spirits with other spirits.
Meanwhile, the moors and Haworth are still Emily's; and the Cumbrian lakes and mountains 'belong' to William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy.
As a Devonian, I count myself lucky. I have the freedom of marvellous coast and country; and when I need my dose of spaciousness and solitude, the Dartmoor upland is waiting to lift me above the familiar urban scene.