Monday, November 20, 2006

St Bride’s well

Bach boomed gloriously as we slipped past the chattering congregation and headed for the crypt stairs. Down below St Bride’s, a mini museum, with most things behind glass, charted some of the story of the church. We made our way past piles of stones until we found ourselves in a quiet little chapel, far beneath the city streets.

It is said that you can hear the spring gurgling when sitting quietly in the crypt. Unfortunately, the building’s heating system was grumbling away behind a closed door nearby. The stones still hummed with the residue of the Bach fuge. We had to imagine the sound of water.

A wreath of roses lay on the square alters. We lit our candle, incense, laid out our water and stones, and cast a circle. My companion commented on the bricked up door upon which a cross had been fastened, wondering if the spring lay beyond.

All was quiet. Even the heating system seemed to whisper. Slow, soft footfalls made their way towards us and a woman appeared and sat quietly with us for a short while.

I drifted, held in the depth of the stones.

I was walking slowly down uneven stone stairs. The walls all around me were sturdy rock. The spring bubbled and its soft gurgling bounced sibilantly from wall to wall.

I heard a baby’s cry, piteous and mewing like a desolate kitten. My chest constricted with grief. In the dark, I could make out nothing, yet I knew that the baby and I were not the only souls here. There were others, their grief thickly silent in the dense, cold vault.

I felt a sharp breeze on my face and opening my eyes, I found myself now out in the open. The sky was the high grey of an early February dawn. I stood alone in a field, by a spring spilling up amongst a small outcrop of stones. As the sky lightened, figures appeared and began to gather around the well. They didn’t seem to notice me so I just stood still, holding my breath in expectation. They linked arms and began to dance, growing faster and faster as the day warmed.

Then they were gone and I was once more alone with the spring. I looked down, and at my feet, the smallest of snowdrops shone gently white against the dull green grass. I knelt and tenderly touched a petal and my heart was lifted and gladdened.

Softly drifting incense brought me back to the here and now. My companion and I shared briefly our thoughts before closing the circle and taking our leave. As we moved back through the crypt, I memorised the way for I knew that I would be back again to sit in this gentle place to dream of a well, a baby, the dancers and a snowdrop that is the Lady herself.

3 Comments:

Blogger The Low Priestess said...

yes She's there. I met her too...

4:02 AM  
Blogger The Low Priestess said...

Yes, She's there, I met her too...

4:02 AM  
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12:18 PM  

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