Saturday, 8 October 2011
Counting my blessings...
The falls are a hidden gem, there are no brown tourist signs pointing to them. Even the footpath indicators say nothing about the waterfall choosing instead to say "Harden 2 Miles" or even just the bare words "Public Footpath".
This is a blessing - a reminder of just how lucky we are living so close to such secret wonders. Wonders made still better as the beck recovers from years of being poisoned by the Manywells landfill - from being dead and beautiful it is now alive again with flies, fish and frogs abounding.
Like the heather covered hill tops that change with the seasons - brown to green to olive green to a month of glorious purple then back to brown - these places define Cullingworth. The village sits snug in those hills, protecting us from the worse that Yorkshire's weather gods can throw at us - up on the tops you can see the lashing rain sometimes while down here the air is just a little soft, like damp spray rather than torrenting rainfall.
This is a blessing - a reminder that past generations chose well, opting for a protected place filled with good clean wells and springs.
Today the world seems to be devouring itself - chewing up the sinful and the innocent is an avalanche of retribution for our hubris. Tearing apart our belief that we could direct the storms, understand the myriad choices - good and bad - that people make and create perfection, establish a managed world. But here in Cullingworth on an October morning in the rain, there is still beauty, still blessings.
When things seem grim it's hard to tally those goods things - people, places, memories - that make life good. But we must try to do so. Not to stick our heads in the sand, not to ignore the pain but to remember that where we made growth, joy and wonder before, we can do so again.
So count your blessings. All of them.