Continuing our series of Everyday Adventures into 2021, photographer Harry Renton takes us on a wander through his home in the Peak District, following paths not far from his own back door. Harry finds his photography a grounding experience, as he documents all aspects of everyday life, from the mountains to the streets.
Photography & Words by Harry Renton | @a_diary_of_sorts
I was introduced to the word Hireath recently. It’s a Welsh word that translates roughly to, “The feeling of longing for a home that no longer exists or never was. A deep and irrational bond felt with a time, era, place or person.” The meaning of it hit home with me as it’s an idea I have always toyed with in my journey with photography. My walks through the hills and woodlands back home in the Peak District often leave me thinking about the books I used to read when I was young. The adventures locked away in fantasy books would more often than not lead me outside into the woods or hills behind my house. I’d pretend and make believe I was one of those characters out there in the wild chasing adventure and peril. But no matter how much of a connection I felt to the imaginary I would always find my feet firmly planted on solid ground and back home.
Now I’m older I feel as if my photography has taken the place of those fantasy books I used to read. I am constantly trying to imagine myself in far off places, amongst mountains and deep forests but really, I am still here in the Peak District. I’m not atop the peaks of Himalayas or alps, nor am I wandering through magical lands filled with creatures and wizards. It may seem childish, at the age of 23 to escape to these places still. To wish that the worlds in books would swallow you whole and spit you inside of its pages but it is the truth. When I am walking, I often imagine that home is far away. It’s distant and with this distance I find that my escapism into wilderness becomes more tangible.
My favourite quote from any book is “the road goes ever on an on, down from the door where it began.” – JRR TOLKINE, THE LORD OF THE RINGS. It’s now, on these walks that I take from my front door I began to realise that I can simply keep going. On and on. The footpaths and trails here are all intertwined, connected like blood vessels feeding us that necessary life support of fresh air. What used to only be a short 2-mile circuit walk can now be stretched out until my legs decided it’s time to turn home. From here I walk through fields, woodlands, over hills and rivers. It’s a place to not only stretch my legs but stretch my mind out to experience the imaginary world that isn’t quite tangible from the words written on the pages of books.
These everyday adventures are simple. They keep me; my body and my mind healthy whilst allowing me to keep that childish fascination of the world alive. Without that inquisitive nature instilled in us as children how else do we continue to adventure and create?