Mountain Thoughts | An Excerpt from Lungs of My Earth by William Henry Searle
In the words of Sir Andrew Motion (UK Poet Laureate, 1999-2009, President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England) “Lungs of My Earth evokes particular places dear to the author, sweeping them into our imaginations with a rush of delighted language to create ‘a luminous map of the sacred’. Part field-work and part sky-dreaming, it is at once exact and exultant—a vibrant song to the earth and echo chamber of the earth’s own singing.”
Hail clinks against an iron latch-gate. Sheep bow to buckets of winter feed. An owl pursues a stoat down a crag. Stars bud the tips of bare branches. The half-moon nests amongst pine tops. Twelve rivers bleed into one black lake. A cold wind blows across the road. Sleepless walkers like I wield head-torches at this unearthly hour as though to gather in the lost, finding nothing but a strange, frost- frail beam of thin light weaving to and fro as slowly as the growth of bone, that stops at each thing to stitch up each thing’s heart, leaving behind traces of quiet that amount to the sound of everything breathing, and working.
—Excerpt from Lungs of My Earth
William Henry Searle, Ph.D., born 1987, in Dorset, UK, is a spiritual ecologist whose work draws on the world’s diverse spiritual traditions, philosophy, ecology, and personal lived experience in the outdoors to revive the sense of the natural world as inherently wild and sacred. He holds a doctorate in creative writing and environmental philosophy for which he was awarded a three year studentship to study at the Royal Holloway University of London. Lungs of My Earth is his first book.