Written on 11/12/19 by Paul Oldham

"In Our Hands"

Commissioned in 2019 to recognise the 85th anniversary of Friends of the Lake District, "In Our Hands" is a bewitching blend of poetry and superlative visual imagery which celebrates the vital connections between people and place.

Produced and directed by Terry Abraham – Producer of the "Life of a Mountain" film trilogy – it delivers its message through the poetry of Harriet Fraser and Terry's spectacular Lake District footage to explore the vital connection between people and place; the glorious landscape and the rich cultural heritage of Cumbria and the Lake District.

Here's the text of Harriet's poem which is read through the film.

"In Our Hands"
by Harriet Fraser

This is a place for the senses,
here, under a shared and wild sky
in a spread of hills and light
layered with the conversations
of wind and birds and water's fall.

This is a place for the senses:
land beneath your feet,
moss and bog and rock,
fresh fell-air, the weather in your face.

Let me take you on a journey:
through a raven's eyes, look on a world
where hills are solid waves
and lakes spread, ink-dark
mirrors to the clouds.

Come in close: the first leaf of spring,
a butterfly, or a bee
busy among meadow flowers
that turn to face the sun.

Moments of wonder:
lichen dressing oaks in grey,
dawn mist carpeting a wood,
an arc of colour after rain.

In fells and valleys
shaped by ice, water, time,
our own centuries are counted
in the endless march of hand-made walls,
in coppiced woods and hefted flocks,
in the quickening of hearts
and the naming of things:
mere, ghyll, pike, force,
crag, thwaite, tarn.

Textured land, common land,
held by years of care and toil,
a history of standing up, mountain-strong,
for farms of the fells, tarns of the fells, flora of the fells,
and dedication, to continue to ask:
Are we on the right road?

In this fragile place,
a woodland or a lake
knows nothing of uncertainty,
of shifting climate, or politics, or money;
nor does it know the certainty of love,
how the will to protect what matters
can outlast a raging storm.

This is a place of land and lives interwoven,
memory and hope, light and shade.
It feels timeless but time ticks on,
and the future's in our hands.

This is a place for imagining,
for treading softly,
for shaping and sharing
what happens next.

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