“A lake is a landscape’s most expressive feature.
It is Earth’s eye, looking into which the beholder
measures the depth of his own nature.”
Henry David Thoreau
When I visited the lake at the end of October, the peace and tranquility were palpable. I have come to love this solitude and silent communion with nature. My heart sings and my spirit dances with delight. I am a child again.
As I sat, entranced, I was reminded of the words of the Indian guru, Paramahansa Yogananda:
“Each minute of life should be a divine quest.”
This was one of those precious moments, an eternal moment frozen in time, as the world faded away and my heart soared.
Llyn Mair [Welsh for ‘Mary’s Lake’] is an artificial lake near Maentwrog in the county of Gwynedd, North Wales. It was created in 1889 by William Edward Oakley, as a 21st birthday present for his daughter Mair. The position of the lake, bordered with ancient oak woods, and its tranquil appearance, makes this a popular picnic site for visitors, and it is also a starting point for a number of local country walks. [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llyn_Mair]
“Reading about nature is fine,
but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully,
he can learn more than what is in books,
for they speak with the voice of God.”
George Washington Carver
Images: Autumn Glory at Moss Valley, North Wales
“I want to be magic.
I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile.
I want to be a friend of elves and live in a tree. Or under a hill.
I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing.
I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore.
I want to be magic.”
Charles de Lint
Images: Moss Valley, Wrexham, North Wales November 2016
“Nature is ever at work building and pulling down,
creating and destroying,
keeping everything whirling and flowing,
allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion,
chasing everything in endless song
out of one beautiful form into another.”
Pontcysyllte [Pont-ker-sulth-tay] is the tallest navigable aqueduct in the world and carries the Llangollen canal high up over the Dee Valley. It was given World Heritage status in 2009. Thomas Telford and William Jessop worked on the design. They were the greatest canal engineers of their day.
The aqueduct comprises a cast iron trough mounted on stone pillars, spanning the valley 126 feet above the river. It is 307 metres [1007 feet] long and has 18 piers, 39 metres [126 feet] high, and 19 arches, each with a 13.7 metres [45 feet] span. It is fed by water from the Horseshoe Falls near Llangollen, and holds 1.5 million litres of water. Each year the aqueduct is crossed by more than 15,000 boats and 200,000 pedestrians. It is an adventure to be experienced by all.
When I was there last week the sky was blue and Autumn had begun to appear, but it was very windy high up on the aqueduct. I managed to walk halfway across and then had to steady myself against the railings in order to get the photograph of the little stone bridge spanning the river upstream. [There are only railings on one side and a narrow parapet for pedestrians. Then the trough that carries the canal, then nothing – just a great big drop 126 feet down!!]