May 4th, 2013…
Okay, it’s not as glamorous as the title sounds. We, my friend and I, hit the West Country today.. we are in Somerset. First, it was lunch with a lovely couple.. a respected esoteric author and his wife in the beautiful town of Bradford on Avon.. and no, I didn’t take pictures. I should have…but you can guarantee I will be going back, well-armed with the camera. But there was cake too.
Next stop, Glastonbury. Both of us hit with unreasonable and unseasonable fatigue about five miles out, and still sleepy as we arrived in town. We found food in the Blue Note café on Glastonbury High Street. We needed to wake up. It sort of worked.
We had a wander, then entered the churchyard of St John the Baptist. We walked past the labyrinth and paused by the scion of the Holy Thorn that resides there. There was a blue tit playing in the branches, but would it stay still long enough for a photo? No. Of course not. The jackdaw, on the other hand, decided to accompany almost every step I took today.
The interior of the church is beautiful but disappointing. Here there is a sense of social history, of community, yet in spite of the evidence of century after century of worship, there is no feeling of continuity nor of service and worship. The windows, however, are fabulous.
The bookshops, however, are a different matter. It felt quite odd to browse there with my friend, realising that between us the shelves of our particular areas of interest are filled by authors we have or do know personally between the pair of us. These were not faceless and remote authors, but writers, friends, fellow travellers. Indeed, we had just met with one of them and had to chuckle when, of the three copies of his book on the shelf, I picked the signed one.
Of course, we could not leave without paying our respects to another great lady of esoteric thought and stood a while beside the simple grave of Violet Firth, or Dion Fortune as she is better known. Even here, the corvids that have been it seems, following me of late, could not resist putting in an appearance, I am sure they have a sense of humour!
We sort of needed to arrange accommodation… we had none and everywhere was full. This may explain why, tonight, we mysteriously find ourselves in Taunton some miles distant. It matters not. Tomorrow we head for Ankh Morporkian Consulate, otherwise known as the Discworld Emporium in Wincanton.
We found a hotel in Taunton, we dined, and are about to retire prior to tomorrow’s adventure. We appear to have done little on the surface, yet below it, so much work has been done, so much achieved, shared, and understood. Both in terms of the spiritual work that now pervades, it seems, all aspects of my life, to the simple sharing of tears and laughter, stories and memories of friends who have had, hitherto, little time in one another’s company.
Now time to prepare for sleep and a new day. With luck, there will be no more car emergencies to be fixed with gaffer tape and superglue. With any luck at all, it will not rain. But whatever comes, it will be another day shared, and that is enough of a gift for anyone.