Monday, April 09, 2007

The night train to Scotland (Friday march 30, 2007)

There’s something about trying to sleep on a train. I was making my way up to the Findhorn Foundation in Northern Scotland for a week of lesbians and spirituality and had decided to take the sleeper.

Findhorn is filled with magical energy. There is a lot of work done with angels and spirits of the land. The community is religiously tolerant.

It is unusual to find dedicated lesbian’s weeks in alternative communities. The alternativeness often doesn’t extend to the acknowledgement of, let alone the celebration of lesbian sexuality. So to find a course for lesbians on sexuality and spirituality was a very exciting and unusual thing.

All week I had been being run by anxiety. I dreamed of missing the train, getting there without my luggage and all manner of strange things that Freud would have a field-day with. Finally, I got myself onto the tube (which promptly got stuck in a tunnel).

I panicked, overwhelmed by emotions, and then remembered that I had drawn the dog from the Druid Animal Oracle, as my travelling companion. I called him up now an felt immediately comforted. Quickly casting a circle, I invited the creatures of the tube to sit alongside the train until it moved and speed it on its way.

Later, alone in a strange cabin, I wondered where everything was. This insistence on travelling solo was bad for my mental health! I felt somehow inadequate and began to cry again.

What was all this about, I wondered? Why was I so ready to come to tears? Something was pulling me to get to my journey’s end where I felt that all would be well. Reminding myself of the comforting presence of the dog, I sat back to wait for assistance.

The induction into the curiosities of a sleeper cabin over, I climbed beneath the thin blankets and tried to get comfortable in the narrow bunk. I was definitely a bit over excited. I wrestled with the blankets and sheets, nearly tumbling out of bed every time the train went up a hill or round a corner, but I couldn’t settle. Having remade the bed for the fourth time, I summoned up the concept of being cosy and rocked in the bunk, sleeping quietly whilst the night sped past the windows. I leant into the rhythm of the train …

Gulls screeched their welcome as I climbed sleepily from the train. A cheerful Scottish voice hailed me and I allowed myself to be escorted up the platform. The air was cool and fresh and suddenly, I felt light. I wanted to sing back to the gulls, but in deference to the feelings of the Scot rail employee, I desisted. He already had me down for a relatively normal looking member of the human race, considering that I was off to be away with the fairies as he called those who travelled to the Findhorn Foundation! Just a short train ride away and I would be there.

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