Saturday, May 26, 2007

Swallow-Head Spring

Tuesday May 22, 2007

Between the West Kennet loch Barrow and Silbury Hill, where the path turns, stands an oak festooned with all manner of coloured ribbons and other offerings. Here marks the place of the now hidden ancient sacred Swallow-Head Spring.

The tree stands in a sea of lively looking nettles. Safe passage is provided by a narrow pathway of trodden undergrowth. Beyond, more nettles, docks and brambles, jostle shoulder to shoulder with near waste high cow parsley and couch grass.


I was at that other spring, the white stones glistening in the sunshine, the gateway between two trees beckoning. The river called me and I waded through the nettles and dove in.

I was a salmon, somersaulting and diving, leaping and rolling in the cool clear water. Beneath the waterline, hidden in the riverbank a city of chambers and tunnels ran. Darting in and out, curious to know what there was I thoroughly explored the network of openings. Always however, I returned to the shining water of the open river.

In time, the turmoil of water at a weir brought me tumbling into a cool, round pool. I swam to the bank and, back in my own form, climbed up onto it.

Before me stood a child sized creature whose triangular leaf shaped face festooned with leaves grinned at me knowingly. Then the light shifted and it became some waving cow parsley, all white and frothy. The breeze ruffled the tall plants and all around from amongst the nettles and docs, triangular, leaf bedecked faces peeped out and were then gone.

On the breeze, strange music came to me. I began to dance and all the creatures of the undergrowth danced too. The summer air echoed with our laughter.

Footsteps and voices close now on the path behind us interrupted my dream. I lent back against the tree and stroked the bark unconsciously as I breathed in the freshness of the midday breeze. I was filled with a sense of longing and of sadness.

Consciously connecting my feet with the ground, my back with the rough bark of the tree, I anchored myself back in the world. WE thanked the folk, the tree and the hidden spring, collected up our things and edged out amongst the nettles back onto the path.

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