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My New Years' Wish... To spend more time in the great outdoors

"There’s no better place to do it than in the serenity of our magnificent Yorkshire countryside." (Alamy)

2 min read

After the drama and tumult of the last 12 months, what might 2023 have in store for us? Here is Dan Jarvis’s resolution.

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?...

WH Davies’s poem reminds us that amidst the fray and fracas of Westminster, we all need to find some relief and respite. So, despite the pressures of life in politics, my New Year’s resolution for 2023 is to carve out a little bit of precious time to “stand and stare”. 

There’s no better place to do it than in the serenity of our magnificent Yorkshire countryside. Start at Langsett Reservoir, walk up the steep winding path to Cut Gate, and then on to Margery Hill. You’re quickly elevated above tall trees towards the sanctuary of the moorland. Once scaled, low-lying clouds sit above a carpet of gorse, touching at the horizon. Sheep outnumber people here.

Solitude is a welcome companion – encouraging calm reflection. There is space to stop, sit and survey the world below. The sound of wind lashing the landscape is punctuated by laughing grouse. This exposed, bleak, but beautiful terrain allows the weather to provide a theatre of extremes from one to another: sun, heat, dust, rain, hail, snow and lots of mud! 

It’s mystical; be in awe of it.

Being in the great outdoors is special because it is extraordinary. Wherever you are, it’s heartening to know it will always be there to escape back to, guided by Davies’s undeniable truth.

…A poor life this if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

Happy New Year!

Dan Jarvis is Labour MP for Barnsley Central.

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