22 August, 2012

Missing England

Hey, Readers!

Before I get to the bulk of this post, I wanted to say that I did go to Lily Dale last Saturday, and I do have a video to post from it, but the video is 20 minutes long of HD footage, so I'm having trouble uploading it. Please be patient while I get it posted as soon as I can--I know you're DYING to see it! I just have less time throughout the day to try uploading it multiple times, since I now work days.


I've started reading a little novel called BLITZCAT by Robert Westall. It's about a black cat named Lord Gort who makes her way through wartime in search of her person, her human master, using psi-trailing. In other words, Lord Gort can sense where her person is. She senses home. When she starts heading there, she feels a change in her person's location, realizing he's moved, and so on. Thus she goes, from place to place in England, following her master's trail and finding new, temporary masters along the way.

The places mentioned in the novel so far, other than London, are basically all farther north than I traveled. The book does not mention anywhere I actually visited besides London, at least not yet. But even though the exact locations differ, the feeling is profoundly familiar to me.

When Mrs. Smiley and Sergeant Smith are up on a hill and the description talks about being so high up that they felt they were on top of the world, and so high up that the farms below look like toy farms, with toy farmers and toy sheep, I go back in my mind to Glastonbury Tor. I do want to write a whole post about my experience on the Tor eventually, but I wanted to wait until all my videos were up and I'm only about 1/3 done editing all those videos. Still, the simple feeling of being above it all, so high up, thinking how small the things are below and how big the world is, takes me there. The steep climb that made our legs strain and stretch, even those of us who are "in shape," the rain that started to fall, the goats on the hillside, and the elation when we reached the top. The rainbow. The little girl in the popply yarn hat that stood with me in the rain, our arms outstretched. The sound of my classmates and professor singing a song from our course-packet. My nerdy excitement while telling my classmates about leylines and energy, the energy that surged through me, the apple I ate in the rain in the name of Avalon. All of it. All of that from being so high up that sheep below look unreal.

Me, walking up Glastonbury Tor. Taken by Sarah.

Sarah & me on Glastonbury Tor, with rainbow.

And the WINDS. The novel describes winds blowing cool and strong, wavering the treetops and ruffling clothing and hair, and I am in Uffington. I am sick, I am crying, I am devastated that I may not get to walk to the smithy in my nervous, stomach-trouble-laden condition. I am frustrated. I am bored. I am tired. The White Horse looks at me, unconcerned, going about its day in the chalk hills. I want to get out of there. I have to walk sideways up the hill to avoid being toppled over by the current of air, constant, over the hills. I am crying, but there are no tears. They have all been blown away. Then, suddenly, a rush. Something I will not describe as air, nor as wind, but specifically, awefully, and reverently as the Winds of Uffington. I have never felt winds so strong that were not threatening a storm. I quite literally had to lean forward and stay standing sideways to the wind to prevent being blown down the hill. All my classmates and friends were jumping, hands holding coats outstretched, making believe they could fly. I didn't dare. But I did face the wind, eventually, and let it blow through me. Cold, weak, sickly me. I felt better. Distracted. My classmates lined up for a photo and reached for me, taking me up alongside them. We formed a wall against the wind, which pushed us backward so that we had to dig our feet in and hold on tight. I didn't feel well at all, but I felt good. Those are the winds I remember like old friends. Though others may remind you of them, they can never be the same.

Our class group on the site of Uffington Castle.

Strange, that a book, or a garden, or a meal can make you think of a place like that. Strange that I remember certain emotions so strongly tied to a place. A hill. One moment.

It's times like these that make me want to put on my rain coat, find a good tree to sit under, and sip tea in the rain.


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