Friday, August 31, 2007

A walk on the moors!

From my notes, Tuesday July 24, 2007:

The sun shining into our room woke me up at 6 am. Robert was snoring so I lay quietly till 7:15 then had to get up. We walked past the parsonage and found a path that leads to the waterfalls, 2 1/2 miles from here. We walked a little ways, past chickens and old stone fences.

We had to go back at 8:30 in order to wake Matthew and have breakfast at 9:00. The church bell rings every 1/4 hour. I just love it here, especially when the sun shines!

We had a good breakfast. I tried black pudding. (blood sausage) We ate in the parlour.

Later: We returned from our walk on the moors at 4:45. We set out at 2:15, after visiting the parsonage at 10:00. The museum is wonderful. It was like a dream to enter the front door, and see the hallway with the stairs leading up to the bedrooms, and the study on the right, and the dining room, with the couch where Emily died, on the left. It was quite different from my imagination, of course. Alas, I was forbidden to take photos, so I hope I can always remember it. We were the first ones in the house, and only a few people came after us, so I was surprised, and pleased to roam about for one hour. My hubby and son didn't rush me!

I saw the old clock on the stair landing that Patrick Bronte wound every night on his way upstairs. I loved Charlotte's room, with her personal items on display, including a dress she wore on her honeymoon, and her teeny tiny shoes and gloves. I wonder what on earth she would think if she came back and saw all her things on display? Would she laugh hysterically? Would she faint in shock? Would she be at all pleased?

I saw the tiny little books that Branwell, Charlotte, Emily and Anne wrote when they were children. I enquired in the museum shop, and someone has read that microscopic childish writing and re-wrote it and put it into book form! I would love to buy the books, but didn't have room to get them now. Maybe I can order them online.

I tried to imagine living here and roaming the moors, and being close to my family, and having such a secluded life, and it felt like a dream. Things feel dreamlike on this trip, because I've imagined them for so long, that to be here in this spot at last is mind boggling. I was so happy to see all these things at last, and to walk where Charlotte and her sisters walked.

There's one room devoted to Branwell's paintings. To my unpractised eye, his paintings look really good. I don't know why his life seemed so futile, and why he couldn't have succeeded better. I feel sorry for Patrick Bronte. His family seemed cursed, yet he was a good Christian man who worked hard all his long life.

To see the parsonage, to walk where the Brontes walked, to set my eyes on Haworth and its crooked streets, helped me understand a bit what the family felt, and helped me see that their life wasn't all doom and gloom. I could be very happy here. I could also see why they weren't satisfied when they left, and always had to go back. I hope to return one day too!

The photo above is one I took from the front step of the parsonage. This is the view the Brontes had when looking out the front door. The school is to the left, and the church and graveyard is straight ahead. The path through the middle used to lead through a gate in the wall, straight down through the graveyard. This is where Charlotte and her family would walk to get to church. It's the last place they were carried to their final resting place, too. All the family is buried in a vault in the church, except for Anne who is buried in Scarborough.

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