Cow & Calf Graffiti

I was up Ilkley Moor with family this month, and yes, I went bareheaded. The famous cow and calf stones are an iconic view of the Yorkshire landscape. The moor has the second highest concentration of ancient rock carvings in Europe; ancient cup and ring markings are fairly common (see penultimate photo). These are from the bronze age or earlier, a simple artistic flourish from the past. Of similar interest to me was the rather elegant Victorian graffiti on the rocks. I have previously blogged about church graffiti in Norfolk and Lincolnshire; these signatures may be less archaic, but they fascinated me all the same. I wonder if our primeval urge to mark rocks and walls is a cry to the future, a determination not to be forgotten, a bid for immortality. In this regard, the illiterate Neolithic pagans might be more readily forgiven that their Victorian descendants. Most of these ‘artists’, even those who left names and dates, cannot be traced or known. Though the wind and rain have not yet erased their scratchings, their bids for immortality seem already doomed. Paul talks about those ‘whose names are in the book of life’, and the Lord Jesus confirms that and “I will not blot out his name out of the book of life”. That is one place I wish my name to be. Let the winds blow, the rains fall and the rocks melt- my name is safer there than on any other document or database. Even a birth certificate can be altered, and a rock rubbed smooth.

The Lamb’s book of life- is your name in it?