Albion, ancient sites, sacred sites

Having fun

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Sunday morning dawned with blue skies and a promise of summer. It made perfect sense to Stuart and I to set off some five hours early for the twenty-five-mile trip to the coach station, intending a leisurely ramble in the general direction of his transport home. We were quiet, being tired from a few days’ work and travel.

“We do have fun, though, don’t we?”

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The question, as so often, came completely out of the blue as though following an unspoken train of thought. I considered for a moment. A simple ‘yes’ would have done, but there is more to what we do than fun. And perhaps not everyone would see it that way either. We talk, we visit churches replete with history, walk an ancient landscape amid the traces of our ancestors, study myths, legends and religious symbolism… and visit a fair number of pubs along the way. We throw the lot into the speculative, eclectic cauldron of inspiration on a quest for understanding… and then we write about it. Fun?

Glaston weekend 280With three books together so far and another underway, while the fifth begins to shape itself, we wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t fun. But then, we have learned to recognise something in the land, something which, through giving it our attention, we seem to have attuned ourselves to see, hear and feel. It was always there, for both of us, gently shadowing our love for this place. Since our first weekend exploring Uffington and the buzzards, followed by that day chasing red kites, just a little over a year ago, things have changed, gaining a depth and beauty we could not have imagined; it got personal, and our relationship with the land itself touches our deepest roots.

Glaston weekend 285The great kites seem to roost in our hearts, the land sings and the trees whisper. Old stones open their memories and show us glimpses of forgotten worlds. The churches shadow both the lives of our ancestors and a symbolism which, rather than cementing a belief in one faith, has opened the doors of the mind to an ever-increasing certainty that all paths are one, under many guises. This too is something we have both always known, yet the deeper we delve, the more it is reinforced and the very symbols of the Church itself open the wings of understanding, ruffle complacent feathers and allow a soaring flight that can see a wider vision that encompasses all.

Avebury (14)You could call it fun. And it is… a quest filled with laughter, feathers, ancient inns, and a wordless communication with the green land of Albion. But ‘fun’ is such a small word, conveying little of the joy of what we do or the way the heart soars when the great birds fly overhead or a vista of hills and valleys opens before your eyes in the dawn mists. Perhaps,  it is Presence. But you could just call it fun…  because there seems no other word for what we have been gifted with. Unless you call it Life… or Love… or the smiling of the gods as they watch their children learn through play on the stage of earth.

“We do have fun, though, don’t we?”

“Oh yes!”

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4 thoughts on “Having fun”

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