So begins Sue Clifford, co-founder of the arts and environment organisation Common Ground, in her radio essay on what England's limestone landscapes mean to her. Clifford's is the first of a series of four essays--as part 2014's contributions to BBC Radio 3's regular The Essay program--"in which writers reflect on the way their bedrock geology has shaped their favourite landscapes".
Limestone, as Sue Clifford says, is not only the stone of choice for many of Britain's architectural landmarks, but in the wild it also supports a wealth of flowers, creating its own micro-climates in the klints and grykes that characterise karst scenery. Limestone, she acknowledges, rejoices in its own specific vocabulary.
In the other essays, the walker and geologist Ronald Turnbull addresses sandstone, the sculptor Peter Randall-Page describes what it's like working with Dartmoor's obdurate granite boulders, and the Welsh poet Gillian Clarke writes about Snowdonia's slate.
To hear this particular essay, visit: www.bbc.co.uk. My fellow New Yorkers may be especially intrigued by some of the observations in Turnbull's essay on sandstone.
Visit Radio 3's The Essay page to access any of the more than 300 essays available as podcasts. The Essay is "a series of programmes debating and exploring arts and cultural topics." Recent essays have covered topics as diverse as fading English rituals and attitudes ("England Ejects"), the Islamic Golden Age, portraits of great Anglo-Saxons, and much, much more.
You can subscribe to the The Essay podcasts on iTunes.