Nature and literature – these great nourishers of the human spirit – sometimes come together, and just recently I’ve enjoyed their meeting in two books written by friends who just happen to both appear in the same podcast.
Peter Owen-Jones’ book Pathlands: 21 Tranquil Walks among the Villages of Britain displays a use of language that conjures up the wonder of the natural world in a way that I find troubling, because it awakens in me one of the worst emotions – envy. I envy, no love, the way he describes the countryside, its plants, the weather. If you live nowhere near Britain his words will give you a vivid sense of what it’s like to walk on the land here. And if you live in or near Britain the book will make you want to throw a pack on your back and go hiking. In this month’s DruidCast I interview Peter about the book, and we widen the discussion to look at the tension between the desire for tradition and the need to, in Peter’s words, ‘shake off the hard scales of history.’
Roland Rotherham’s book Sacred Falls: Saint Nectan and the Legacy of the Dragon brings nature into literature in an entirely different way. Filled with the most beautiful photographs of St.Nectan’s Glen and the surrounding area, Roly’s text explores the legends and history that surrounds this site – one of the most magical in the country. In DruidCast he talks about St Nectan and these legends. It’s a fantastic book and a great edition of the Order’s monthly radio programme. You can find it here.