Albion, ancient sites, Art, Books, Don and Wen, TOLL, travel

A golden gift – Being there



There are some things you know you have to share, but do not know how or even where to begin. Do you tell only the bald facts and let people make of it what they will? Or do you attempt to share the subjective experience? Or find a pathway between the two somehow and hope those same people will read with open heart and mind, accepting the resulting mix of actuality and experience for what it is; a mystery.


On the surface, the adventure began with the unaccountable forgetting of a bag. Except, it wasn’t unaccountable, there were reasons why the bag lost its place in conscious thought. A particular song on the radio, an incredibly moving article just as we were about to leave… heart took precedence over logic and the car was loaded without the bag. We left without it and were obliged to go back.


With hindsight, it is easy to say we were ‘supposed’ to forget the bag and forgetting it changed the course of the day. With hindsight too, we can see beyond the bafflement that seemed to blinker us and recognise the many uncanny parallels with another such ‘accidental’ adventure at Wayland’s Smithy that took us years to even begin to understand. Back then, we just knew it had forever changed how we would see the world… even though, on the surface, ‘nothing happened’. Perhaps that was when the adventure really began. Or perhaps, with its intricate weaving of events, life always leads us all towards where we are supposed to be, leaving only the choice of accepting or refusing the adventures it offers.


We had left our companions and returned to collect the missing bag from the hotel after the planned visit to Bryn Celli Ddu. It was almost inevitable that, given the timing, we went back to the site. Parking the car, we crossed the road and were greeted by a robin. He had been there on the earlier visit, but this time seemed disposed to play, posing for the camera once he was sure he had our attention.


He accompanied us to the little bridge, hopping from tree to fence and back, just ahead of us, only relinquishing his guardianship when enough of his friends had mustered to lead us the rest of the way. They hopped along the path from tree to bush, always just ahead and seemingly waiting for us to catch up.


Perhaps the light had changed in the hour since we had left, but there was a vividness to everything. Details we had missed attracted our eyes, capturing our attention with the delight of children. Trees seemed almost Entishly awake and the vast array of life invited us to look and enjoy.


‘Verily, verily,’” quoted my companion,”‘I say unto you, find the path and stay on it!’“. We grinned at each other, understanding the allusion. The path did indeed remind us both of the Ridgeway on the way to Wayland’s… yet even with that, we didn’t realise the significance or the mounting similarities with that adventure, nor could we have predicted what we were to experience, even if we had done so.


The excitement was building though, that much at least we did realise; it was like Christmas come early as we made our way to the entrance of the enclosure. And the first thing we saw was a probable standing stone we had completely missed earlier that day… and that was only the beginning…



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