Hinterland. As I was rambling through the north Nottinghamshire countryside this afternoon, that word popped into my head. It is a word I have liked since I first heard it and began to understand what it means. Hinterland sounds like Winterland but that is co-incidental.
The hinterland is the heart of a region, a continent, a country, a state. It is where you will probably find the essence of that geographical area. Perhaps it is where you will find its heartbeat - its industry, its fullest expressions of culture, its mountains. It is the core, the centre. Reality is surely to be found in the hinterland.
Figuratively, you can use "hinterland" in other, more obtuse ways. Inside all of us there is a "hinterland" - like a geographical heart. Where we keep our secrets and our deepest thoughts and feelings. Others may be unaware of what lies beneath the surface but it's there, deep in the hinterland of who we really are.
A long novel may have a hinterland. So too a century, a marriage, a period of history, a relationship, a life. It could be mysterious, difficult to define but it's always there, behind the edges and frequently unsung and quiet, like the earth beneath our feet or the gaps between the stars.
...And there were other words and thoughts and memories on my long Nottinghamshire ramble - as if the rhythm of my footsteps was drawing them to the surface like fishes but I won't bother you with those other things, not today anyway.