I don’t know who he was yet, curiosity will surely bring reward. Why was that remote outcrop of rock, seemingly growing out of the hill, named for him? There’s nothing there, no habitation, no apparent sign that there ever was. So, do we imagine a shepherd on that hill? Overseeing his flock with his dogs around him. Yes, in imagination I see him, a loose-limbed wiry man, lined face, far seeing eyes, looking out over that vast distance to the sea.
I saw it today just before sunset. It was so still, not even the sound of the hidden grouse disturbed the silence. No wind, nothing but muted colours of autumn and staring sheep, standing on the rocks like statues. Mauve, pink, brown, yellow, dark green, pale blue, all blended together in a patchwork of beauty very seldom seen in this busy troubled world. Heather underfoot, the quick changing sky of sunset reflecting on the earth. This creates an impression on the mind and soul never to be forgotten.
So who was Tom Tallon? Someone of enough account to have this vista of bleak Northumberland called for him. How long ago did he live to see and love what I have seen today? He must have seen it in all moods. Covered in snow, battered by wind and rain, dark in storm but ever majestic.
I’ll find you Tom Tallon and silently thank you for letting me share your private place. I think you would be such that you wouldn’t mind my brief intrusion. You’ve given me peace tonight and I thank you.