Heathcliff’s ghost revisited us yesterday. I woke up in the middle of one of those eerie nights when the fog snakes through the trees and the whisper of the great outdoors was too strong to be resisted.
Putting on my gum boots and pulling a thick sweater over my pyjamas, I took my torch, crept outside into the dense, grey mist and began my lonely walk along the back track down the hill towards the alpacas. I knew that at 2am I’d not meet anyone ~ except, I hoped, Heathcliff. Was it he who had called to me? My heart thundered at the thought of confront him. That tortured man has haunted me since I dissected his dark, unredeemed soul in Year 12 literature.
Strangely, it was Dad, who’s never been a fanciful man and who doesn’t believe in ghosts, who named the property Wuthering Heights after the 19th century Classic written by Emily Bronte about the two star-crossed 18th century lovers, Heathcliff and Cathy.
He thought that the wind ‘wuthering through the trees’ sounded like Heathcliff astride his black stallion calling for his lost love. So, of course we had to call the main house Bronte Manor and the other cottages Cathy’s and Heathcliff. (Glen Morris was named after the original owners of the property in the mid 1800s.)
On some beautiful, still nights, when the moon is full, I don’t need a torch. The property is completely illuminated and at 2am my elongated shadow is my only companion. It’s strangely peaceful and comforting and not at all scary. “A very companionable loneliness,” I call it.
I’ve never found Heathcliff’s ghosts during my wanderings. But he’s there, on the property, somewhere.
And looking for him is a wonderful excuse to set out on these romantic, inspirational walks in all weathers, enjoying all of Wuthering Heights’ many moods.