How I arrived at the top of this particular moor, I don’t really care to recount. It suffices to say, that in a land of paths cut by more intrepid travelers over the centuries, there were no paths at the top of this moor, as we were, apparently, four of the only masochists to decide that it was prudent to visit the rock in the left foreground of the photograph. I would have grumbled the entire way, as I am wont to do, but I had no breath. Thus, the grumbling was internal–albeit vociferous. Nevertheless, when we reached the apex of this last moor (we had already traversed at least four), my grumbling ceased. I even managed to catch my breath, and yet I did not utter a discouraging word. How could I at such a magnificent sight. The purple heather that I disregarded with certain animosity as I trapsed through it was gorgeous, and gave the moors on the horizon an almost surreal violet hue in patches.
Three miles or so down in the Worth Valley is where Anna’s grandfather build their house, stone by stone, from the ruins of an ostler barn. It is where Anna’s mother grew up, and where I proposed to her in a field across the valley from the house–but in a line of sight from the kitchen window, so that we could always look over to the field when we were at the house. Looking further into the horizon, you can make out a pinpoint landmark, which is the rock outcropping that we came to mount. This is where the Brontë sisters wrote their novels, and in fact Top Withens, the inspiration for Heathcliff’s home in Wuthering Heights, sat only minutes away atop an adjacent moor. A steam train runs through the middle of the valley, on which tracks Anna’s great-great-grandfather was an engineer. The valley is of another time, and it affects me like no other place I have visited in the world.
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