Sunday, October 21, 2007

Carn Gluze or Ballowall Barrow

Wednesday October 17, 2007:

Ballowall Dreams

Situated on the cliff-tops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean just south of Cape Cornwall, lies a unique complex chambered cairn dating from the Neolithic or Early Bronze Age era - about 2500 BCE to 1000 BCE. The centre was a mound, surrounded by two dry stone walls. Contained within it were five stone lined chambers known as cysts. Two pits forming a tee shape were also there. Two more cysts were built against the stone apron surrounding the central mound which included an entrance grave.

The rain had washed the world clean. We drove through the green countryside under a startling blue sky, the sun shimmering on the deep blue sea. The sky was high, a small wind tugged at our jackets as we strode across the grass to Ballowall Barrow.

We climbed the barrow and, carefully avoiding the cysts in the outer wall, began to walk counter clockwise. My hands touched rough piled stones and soft grassy moss. Clambering over and down some rough stone steps, we walked along the inner wall, past other depressions or cysts, my hands exploring the crevices between boulders, stroking the soft moist moss and lichen that covered the stones in places. The sun warmed us as we walked and an occasional seabird called from high in the sky.

Stiffly, I climbed over and down into the Part grass part stone central pit; this oval shaped space was sheltered from the cliff breeze, yet big enough to receive the autumn morning sun. At one end, a cavity, possibly another grave or cyst offered itself as an alter space. I climbed up onto the grass topped wall surrounding the pit and lay down, my face turned to the sun.

It was another beautiful day. I revelled in the solitude of the lonely cliff tops. All was quiet.

A small figure, yellow dress blowing about sturdy little legs, long red hair hanging about her shoulders scampered across the grass in front of me. A little girl at play in the morning sunshine. I called a greeting to her and she turned.

The face of a man, perhaps thirty years old, framed with dishevelled red hair gazed back at me mildly. Momentarily, I faltered, my insides somersaulting with shock as I stared back at the adult face in the child’s body. What I had taken to be a little girl had a perfectly proportion child’s body and the full grown head of a man. His hands and feet were in proportion to his body and the yellow dress was a loosely arranged piece of cloth draped about his torso. Returning to my senses, and remembering the advice of a witch friend upon meeting anything one did not understand on the astral plain, I bowed respectfully to him and he turned and ran of towards the barrow.

I watched him go before turning to the sea. It danced back and forth and up and down. It seemed to me that the sea was dancing for me in a joyful performance, glittering in the sunshine, white horses dancing on the tips of the waves. Awe struck, I watched for a while until remembering my manners, I bowed in thanks to it and moved on.

I lay peacefully in the grass gazing up at the sky above me. Something tickled my faced, tall grasses leaned across and stroked my cheeks; I reached up and returned the caress.

Something tugged at my left boot, I moved my foot slightly. Then many small hands seem to take my body and raise it up off the grass. With a huge effort I relaxed myself and allowed myself to be Bourne away, swaying and rocking as I was lifted.

And then I was sinking down, down and down into the earth, down into darkness and into rest. I lay there forever it seemed, resting and replenishing myself in deep and peaceful sleep. Time moved on and I was rising, moving up through the grass and out into the light of a new day.

Lying on my back, I reached up and began to plat the grasses together, with quick and eager fingers. I breathed deeply and easily, absorbed totally in my task. When it was done, I rolled over onto my stomached.

I felt the earth grip me with a fierce embrace, pressing my face into the grass with such intensity that I could hardly breath. A great sense of sadness engulfed me. I clung to the earth desperately.

Time moved on again. The pain receded into a dull ache in the pit of my stomached. With a huge effort of will, I pulled myself back to the hear and now, rolling over and sitting up. My head ached. I massaged temples to relieve the pain.

Overhead, the birds who had been singing all the while I had lain still, stopped. Carefully, I felt around me, touching the grass and the piled stones, reminding myself that I was here now and not away with the beings of the land.


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