It lies on the edge of the Coleorton valley, 30 acres or so of woodland surrounding a green hill that can be seen from far away. A quiet and pleasant spot that is just one of several such sites reclaimed from old colliery workings and forming part of the National Forest.
They have given it a name, Lount Nature Reserve, but to those that live nearby and remember the days of New Lount Colliery it is still the pit yard and recall trains crossing Melbourne Road, the spoil heap smouldering, dust drifting, dirty washing …
It is more than 50 years since the pit head was in spin and the colliery buildings demolished though if you look carefully you can still see parts of what was once the canteen floor, carpeted now with brambles, raspberry canes and alder.
Coal may have been king, but only the gods truly endure and with the death of the black monarch it is a green goddess that is reclaiming her own, stretching out a healing hand to sooth the hurt of decades.
Through the cracking concrete pushed the young shoots of birch and oak to grow, with the passing of years, into cathedral arches, though there is none of the stilted, rarefied atmosphere of a church beneath these parochial boughs.
Instead, at this growing time of year, a raw and naked energy seems to pulse through every step you take, almost as if the one purpose of the green mistress is to repair the rape of the black king, covering his bloody prints with the frail beauty of woodland flowers and filling the air with the squeaky song of willow warbler, the manic call of green woodpecker, the annoyingly persistent cooing of doves and other songs from a myriad of small birds who make their home here.
There are path ways and tracks that wind their way amongst the trees and here and there can be found rail lines and other bits of rusting mechanical gear.
Slowly but surely, this debris of the black king is being lovingly buried by grasses and bulrushes and ground ivy, their graves marked by the seasonal passing of snowdrops and violets, periwinkle and orchids and other wayside flowers whose names bare the beautiful innocence of children.
It is a steep ascent from the pit yard to the top of the old pit bank, but the view is worth the climb, day or night. Westwards and northwards there are trees and more trees though the not-so-distant hum of the A42 is an irritating reminder that the 21st century is not so far away.
To the east and south lie scattered Coleorton, the Lilliput kingdom of Worthington and on the horizon, Breedon Church stands against the skyline marking the point of a Ley line if you believe in such things, and in the further distance the cloud-making towers of Ratcliffe power station smudge the horizon.
Once this was a barren place of stone and shale and clay, but now transformed by the money of opencast mining in nearby Spring Wood, the bank is a wide and pleasant expanse of undulating moor land interspersed with clumps of mixed woodland trees and three ponds that provide a home for a variety of water fowl.
The highest point of the bank is marked by a ring of trees and there is a feeling that this should be a ring of stones for there is a mystical holiness about this place that catches at the throat and makes the blood pulse a little faster.
Though there is never any doubt that this landscape owes its existence to the hand of man, you only have to gaze at a wild, winter sunset or watch the clouds stream out of the west in a summer storm to know that the green goddess is slowly making it her own and for one feel privilege to live under her hand.
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Winter solstice t-shirts, bags, scarves, leggings using this lovely moon and stag artwork can be ordered from my Redbubble shop ... click the available products button below the item ... bit.ly/wintersolsticidrawstringbag ... See MoreSee Less
2 months ago ·
Too much of sorrow in the last few weeks, but solice lies in the forest whispered by the trees ...
Here in the woods
when idle walkers turn to their beds
and the pale moon rises
showing a sleepy eye in a deepening sky
of cobalt blue, I stand in sacred dreaming.
Bathed in Ogham patterned light,
whose dappled shades of green and white
speak of past and future lives
and while the silence deepens
and the night birds cry, I sigh
and think of those gone by
who never had full measure
of their three score and ten
and in their later days took no pleasure
in the daily joys of men.
But lay in soporific wanderings
immured from earthly longings
and the beauty of the seasons
no longer gave any reason
to wonder at the turning year
and watch the growing of those held dear.
But then at this late hour,
comes a sudden shower.
Soft as a kitten’s paw,
batting shrivelled leaves
on the greenwood’s floor
and through the rain’s fractured glimmer
comes a rainbow’s glorious shimmer.
Trees and leaves all drenched in colours bright
Is this a glimpse of Heaven beyond the night?
Or for those of a different view,
Merlin’s Isle where all’s made new?
Where those who dwell beyond the rain
will be made whole and return again. ... See MoreSee Less
7 months ago ·
Well it looks like winter is dragging on so nothing for it but a poem ...
Too long the winter, too long the snow,
She’s longing for summer and flowers to show.
Wishing for fishing where the river runs slow
where throstles and blackbirds set the sunset aglow.
February fill dyke be it black or be white,
brings dismal days and dreary dark nights.
Rain once again, in needle sharp spears
She’s weighted with sorrow and the passing of years.
She hear’s the old ones mummer and pray
For this too long a winter to be on its way.
My lady of Time with the Crone’s loving blow
brings release and sweet peace to those who must go.
Dreaming of summer, she’s aching for love,
a hand to hold, blue skies high above,
but wishes like kisses they come and they go
Like this too long a winter and too long snow. ... See MoreSee Less
11 months ago ·