Retracing The Maiden's Journey

Ker - Goddess of Grain
This week I have been like a child waiting for the school holidays to come, waiting impatiently for a blessed week off work. Days have seemed so long - I'm pretty sure there were more hours in the day last Friday than normal! To add to that, I feel like I have driven all over the entire length and breadth of Kent over the previous week, but hurrah it finally arrived and it looks like spring is definitely here too! Everywhere I look, new life is starting to bud and peep out of the hedgerows at me and so many facebook posts of beautiful daffodils and snowdrops have delighted me and kept me sane through the week. You'll be pleased to know that I have 'finished' my painting I showed you last week, I was going to do some more to it, but the arm chair art critics here have decreed it gorgeous as it is and it has taken pride of place in the kitchen, for now at least. Still full of lively and adventurous maiden energy, I have treated myself to some further supplies and am feeling inspired enough to work with structure gel, metallic paint and a stab at modelling, not on the catwalk - no one panic! I'm sure these masterpieces will appear on here in the next couple of weeks.
Full of childish snowdrop photo envy,  I decided
Catkins In The Sun
to take myself off on a walk this morning to find some, choosing to retrace some old childhood routes that we used to walk along on lazy Sunday lunchtimes and afternoons with our parents and often a couple of friends in tow, long before the shops were trading all day and Sundays were truly quiet. Funny how these walks often coincided with Sunday open times of the many pubs enroute - just time for a lemonade and a packet of crisps, nice one Dad! 

Off I rambled, my mind casting itself back through the decades, allowing my inner child head space to ponder on the questions of utmost importance - the origins of road names, Where is the Folly in North Folly Road? Who were the Foremans and why do they have a road named after them and their barn? You know the sort of thing! All the questions I would have terrorised my parents with - Why is the sky blue? Do horse chestnuts come from horses? - another one Catkins? Why are they called that? Apparently it's because they look like cat's tails? More like Lambs tails - which they are also known as! Useful link for a great site for tree lore and meanings: Tree Lore and Wisdom 
A Home Fit For A Faerie Queen
Laughing to myself I walked on, stopping to visit my favourite site - the mystery mound, contemplating all the hoof, paw and foot prints along with the cycle tracks pressed into the soft ground, wondering about all the people that had ever visited there, if they felt a connection to it as I did? I sat for a while on a fallen tree trunk listening to the sounds of the woods, the wind whispering through the lofty bows of the old Yew and the rustle of the dead leaves that still cling on like tired bunting flapping in the breeze. A bird sang high above me, out of sight and I was undisturbed - allowed to enjoy the voices of the woods and it's inhabitants.
On my way back out through the woods, I stopped at this perfect fairy house in an old coppiced tree stump, imagining the tales I would have made up about about the wee folk that lived in it as a child, perfectly fitting for the mystery mound! I really must get to the Library and research that a bit more. One of my elderly ladies on my Monday run, is married to a Woodsman who though well into retirement still works these woods, he invited me to join him for an hour - an offer I'm planning on
The Snake
taking him up on and walking out to find him at his workshop at some point this week, like the maiden I will be full of awe and wonder, but with the Crone's shadow ever present in my adult consciousness, I will take more notice and listen more deeply to what he has to say than I ever would have done as a child.

Walking along the road to the next familiar footpath I found a forgotten pathway, slightly overgrown, but decided to follow it with a knowledge long forgotten from childhood that it would lead to where I was headed. I found this amazing log that resembled a massive beautiful snake. So gorgeous, I even contemplated phoning himself to come and pick me and it up there and then! I'm sure it would look fantastic in our garden....
Site Of  The Best Snow Day Ever!
Pressing on I rambled with my childhood self, recalling memories of picnics and camps made with friends in the orchards, Mum and Dad resting, sitting happily on a log while we played in a world of make believe for what seemed like forever, probably enjoying the peace until me and my brother started fighting and bickering! Crossing the old rickety bridge over the deep cut lane I marvelled at the memory of us sliding down it in the snow on an old tea tray that Dad had walked home to get as it was only a ten minute walk from their house. He went first, tearing excitedly down the hill on a metal tea tray and ended up in a snow drift, how we laughed and clamoured to be next! Mum wearing a home knitted dusky pink hat and a brown anorak - I can see her so clearly, laughing and cheering us on from the bridge and Dad shuffling from one foot to the other in the cold, standing guard at the bottom of the hill, 'just in case' a tractor came up the hill, it would have been the only thing that could possibly have attempted it, let alone made it! It was nearly dark by the
Snowdrops!
time they dragged us home! We - my younger brother Paul and myself as per usual, had our shared beloved best friend Vicci with us that day, still a dear friend decades later, I took some photos to share with her on good old facebook, she knew the place in an instant and said it was the best snow day she had ever had, so strong the memory for us all to this day!

I arrived at my intended destination, Linton Church and there they were - a riot of Snowdrops bobbing joyously in the breeze to greet me after my walk and ramble through time of about 3 and half miles and probably revisiting 4 decades of memories. In true family style, I investigated the pub
A Beautiful Memorial To Edith
opposite, a quick half and a packet of crisps in the deserted beer garden, these days a beautiful wooden decked platform, a fantastic viewpoint overlooking the shallow valley I drive through to go to work everyday, before flopping gratefully into himselfs awaiting car. 

Just a pretty something to leave you with, it took my fancy from a distance  in the church yard, the writing is very difficult to decipher, it looks like a baby girl called Edith, who died at a matter of weeks in the very early 1800's, bless her heart. I loved the symbol on the top, I'm guessing it represents the holy trinity, but it sure looks a bit Goddess shaped to me. Some of the legible writing mentions Wester Hill, which is the farm land I walked through, it seems fitting that she should be remembered too.


Have a Beautiful and Blessed Week x x

Comments

  1. Beautiful Claire. I have fond memories of doing these kinds of things too. Dad visited me in my dreams yesterday.....and we were in his car driving around the country lanes....and me exclaiming with delight " I remember this ' ! I will have to endeavour to go out and visit these old places and see if they look the same as in my dream. It was lovely spending time with Dad. RIP. XXX

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  2. What wonderful reading!! Your beautiful soul shines through your words & i can imagine your walk perfectly.
    What a wonderful place we grew up in!!
    xxxxx

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  3. Thank you! That's fantastic my darling - what a childhood legend your wonderful Dad was too, always the Mr Andre of my childhood, youth and adulthood ! Shout if you need a chauffeur so you can revisit these places and marvelin your own time. Nothing like a walk down memory lane with those you love. Love you <3 x x x x x

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  4. Ahh My beautiful Vic! Thank you darling, it was a pretty fantastic place wasn't it ? x x x

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