Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Magic in the Mist

It was a cool, wet, misty morning. As I stepped out of the back door to start the daily chores, a movement caught my eye. Overhead a heron flapped slow, silent wingstrokes across the sky, unhurried and graceful for all its size. Isolated from sounds by the enveloping misty drizzle, it was a moment outside time. I could just as easily have been an Iron Age woman starting the day outside her roundhouse, suddenly transfixed by the ghostly appearance of the breathtaking bird.

This old, magical land often feels to me like there are many strata of time and experience overlaid into an almost tangible fabric. I often feel that if I were just a little more sensitive, a little more attentive, I could break through the veil into the thousand other lives and experiences which are woven into an exquisite yet delicate pattern, telling the story of this land through the ages. Neighbours have told me that the lane we are on was once a Roman Road; there are standing stones and ruined castles nearby; sometimes in the garden I turn up pieces of broken china, the fragile bones of a deceased vole, a child's lost toy, a cobbler's last (our house was originally owned by a cobbler). The stories this land has to tell, if I only knew how to ask, or to hear.

This part of the country is the supposed birthplace of Merlin. Truth or myth, it seemed credible on such a morning, as the silent, elegant heron flapped enigmatically away into the mist.

8 comments:

willow said...

What a lovely post.
Herons are such graceful birds and I'm always amazed by how big they look when they fly, such a large wingspan that seems to be folded to almost nothing when they are standing motionless.
We have several Iron Age burial mounds just outside the village and I used to go there when the children were small. We tried to imagine what life would have been like all that time ago but never really could with all the hustle and bustle of life today.

Tori said...

This is a really magical post.
What images you create.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully evocative :)

Magda xx

Reya Mellicker said...

What an incredible portrait you've painted - of the place where you live now, but also of other times. Your words are beautiful.

No doubt all the myths came directly from the landscape. It sounds to me like you are already gazing beyond the veil of time/space and know exactly how to access all those other lives.

Thank you for this! I feel inspired and connected to the heron, the skeletons, the castles and stones just reading it.

Andrew said...

I agree. This is a lovely post and you write so darn well. I am envious! Take care thanks for taking the time to share your world with us.

Andrew in Alabama
The 4th Avenue Blues

deborah oak said...

lovely, Susan! Thank you. I'm so grateful I've visited you and met your land and its spirits.

Faerose said...

wow what an amazing picture at the top of your blog. I thought it was a magazine photo for a moment.

xx

2 Witches Blog - Mama Kelly said...

A lovely post. I envy you your magical land. May your years there be blessed!!

Mama Kelly