I smile at the thought that the entire history of our family has played out in the fields and villages stretching away beneath that fell, between Lake District and Pennines, for at least six centuries, and probably longer. We shaped this landscape, and we were shaped by it in turn. My people lived, worked, and died down there for countless generations. It is what it is because of them and people like them. It is, above all, a peopled landscape. Every acre of it has been defined by the actions of men and women over the past ten thousand years. Even the mountains were mined and quarried, and the seemingly wild woodland behind us was once intensively harvested and coppiced. Almost everyone I am related to and care about lives within sight of that fell. When we call it our landscape, we mean it as a physical and intellectual reality. There is nothing chosen about it. This landscape is our home and we rarely stray long from it, or endure anywhere else for long before returning. This may seem like a lack of imagination or adventure, but I don’t care. I love this place; for me it is the beginning and the end of everything, and everywhere else feels like nowhere.

~ James Rebanks, The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape.

Photo by James Rebanks. Don’t miss his other magnificent photos at bbc.co.uk – The Shephard’s Life


  1. Reblogged this on Królowa Margot.Striptiz.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am enchanted by this connection to the land, and have some inkling (though nowhere near as deep) of its deep pull. My mother’s side of the family is comprised of farmers, and I have witnessed the siren song that the soil sings to her. She is never happier than when she is standing with a hoe in hand or firing up a tractor to head off to the fields. It’s hard work, but it’s pure, and it speaks to her at a very basic level.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How amazing it would be to have such a deep-rooted history David. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. home is where our hearts go to sleep each day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. When step off the pane in Edinburgh … Get into the car … Drive along the coast for a bit … And then step outside … And take a big deep breath.
    This is what it feels like.
    Home to the very roots of my genes … Sheep and all!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I felt something like that when I went back to my roots recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Takes me back…. having lived for ten years in the Pennines before over here. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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