striped snail shell

The Sussex Weald, whose beauty consists in its having been handmade, still bears the memory in its bones as a place of deep poverty and hard labor. Try digging a posthole in the clay or even burying a pet or a dead lamb in the corner of a field and you soon know how intractable the land is: the deep Wealden lanes were mostly impassable all winter, or would have needed a team of oxen to drag a wagon through their clag, and hardly a day of sunshine passes before that stolid stickiness transmutes into an equally unaddressable concrete. No one who could have chosen to farm elsewhere would have opted for these difficulties.

A place you have to walk through to know . . .