George had always told me that where I could see the vertical rock overhang in the middle of the property that there was a beautiful oasis with wild orchids and I had put it on my ‘to be discovered one day’ list. But because of the ceaseless search for the best place to site the Glockemann perpetual motion pump, I took it upon myself to walk up Angle Creek which bisects the property and look for the ideal combination of water drop, deep pool etc., etc., And I have found paradise.
Crystalline water rubbing the edges off the rock to reveal the iron ore within. Pristine peace and rainforest and wild orchids everywhere you look. This is a veritable oasis and shows me that I was so right to call the place Avalon – the red water is a constant, while the white which in times of rain will course to meet it, is currently dry. For those of you not familiar with the red and white springs of Glastonbury and the ancient, mythical, isle of Avalon, I suggest a visit to http://www.chalicewell.org.uk/
So Ged (who is doing the install), Bill Peck (Mr Glockemann) and a local friend of his (Holger, who runs some sort of spiritual yoga retreat thing locally) and I all schlepped up the creek bed in various stages of awe and wonder. Holger then emailed me and asked to explore its mysteries in solitude, in order to appreciate the energy of the place, to which I readily agreed. I had always wondered what sort of landowner I would be – would I share as I expected others to share with me over the years (for my runs etc?) or would I become a miserly protectionist, toting my gun and ‘trespassers will be prosecuted’ signs and rubbing my hands and going ‘mine, all mine’ . . . and I feared the latter! But the land is its own – not mine, not yours – it was here long before me and will be here long after we are all scattered to the four winds. We are just custodians and can only nurture and tend, plant and protect for the mere minutes we are here to enjoy it. And for me who finds God in nature’s daily miracles and peace in its stillness and constant change, it is wonderful to be able to share that with anyone who cares enough to look and listen and feel.
Spring is definitely in the air and whether it is that or the overwhelming feeling of happiness and gratitude for this beautiful place I experience on my daily runs, I have been doing handstands!! But I am 30 or so years out of practice and landed in some strange way and hurt my big toe which was black and blue for most of the week. So the lesson there is either that ladies of my advancing years should keep their feet firmly planted on the ground, or practice, practice, practice!! I am sure you can imagine which method I will be adopting . . . .!!
Saw the first swallow of summer this week and the cherry trees are beginning to blossom so hopefully those deep frosts and bitter winds of winter are behind us and the ‘summer country’ can soon begin to bloom.
Ged and I made progress in the house at the weekend. It seems I was stuck in the linen cupboard for two days! We ripped out the shelves and I washed and painted coat after coat of my lovely ‘Clotted Cream’ over their previous ghastly pink, while Ged put up shelves in the pantry. So one room is 99% finished (two more shelves to go in!). Admittedly it is the smallest room in the house but it was the one I needed most so I can have some semblance of normality with food and some sacred, dust-free space for crockery, cutlery and utensils! He has also put up all new shelves in the linen press so as soon as I have painted the doors, there’s another little clean storage area for me before the armies of mice devour all my belongings in the garage!
With the warmer weather the countryside has been ablaze . . . literally. All the verges and vast acreages are being burnt off and as the rumours of an early start to the permit only season run rife, there is a frenzied rush to get in quick. The air has been thick with smoke and the orange glows at sunset are not from light years away, but from nearby hillsides ablaze. It has been beautiful and surreal. And we haven’t finished burning our place yet!
THE SMALLEST ROOM IN THE HOUSE . . . .!!