The sun sets on our life in Dent

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Posted on June 5, 2013

sunset 1Life moves in a series of daybreaks and nightfalls, shadows shifting, clouds drifting. Doors open, doors close. We follow one road and not another, enter a forest maybe, or climb a bare-backed hill.

Each and every path we take, however many times it might have been trodden by others before us, is unique: a singular, distinct journey in time and space, captured in light and shade, sound and scent, blended with thoughts and moods in an unrepeatable way.

So it has been with the sunsets this past week in the Dentdale valley. The midsummer nights have laid out a sky of soft oranges and blues, a yellow orb sinking between the breast-like double-peaked hill in the west.

As the sun sets, its rays warm the air and tease gold from the edges of leaves; they seduce the ash buds to rise in tender green and call the night-flies to dance. Martins, tits, thrushes, blackbirds; cuckoos, pheasants, wagtails, dippers; an orchestra of sunset 3birdsong closes the day in a celebration and a gossipy chat, crystal clear across the windless field.
It's mesmerising; there's a rich coming to life each evening as the valley also passes into rest.

Some days I wonder if it’s the most beautiful natural scene I have ever witnessed. But then I'm easily impressed by nature, and there isn't really an absolute best, there can't be - so many places, so many times and each one , in its uniqueness, wonderful. Still, a scene like this catches my sunset 5breath. It overwhelms my intention to briefly look at the colours in the branches of a tree so that I stay outside, walking, seeing and listening for 30, 40 minutes.  And Rob is bewitched by the vibrancy, capturing it in photographs.

The experience, each night in the golden fields for the past week, has been tinged with a slight melancholy: the valley is flourishing, gilded, fresh, alive, brimming, and our time here is nearly up.


Another path lies ahead, and from this more adventures and journeys will certainly unfold, just as this one comes to a close. But the place will still be here. I will be back to tread the river bed, climb the fell, swish through the meadows, and check the young ash tree that has beguiled me. I want to see how it grows over the decades.
sunset 2


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