February 16, 2016

Dreams and cogitations

As a child, she was surprised and wounded by the first rock that struck her. But she picked it up and put it in her pocket, and contemplated it later.
As the years passed, the rocks became more frequent and her collection grew. She was no longer surprised by them, but still dreaded each one. Her collection grew into a little wall that she could shelter behind when she needed it.
Over time, her wall grew into cottage where she could go for safety, a place to breathe and just be.
Decades passed and the rocks sometimes became less frequent, but were often larger. Her cottage began to take on the aspects of a Manor. There was not just room for herself there, but offer safety and comfort for those she loved as well.
By the time she was old, she had created a Castle. Within its walls she could provide shelter, compassion, and safety for any who required healing. The giant stone fireplace contained a roaring fire where she could tell stories and share wisdom. Children play in the gardens of that castle, and it is a rare stone that makes it over the wall.

Tree of Life On the Allendale Nature Trail, about 100 yards along the riverside path from Bridge End, is this carved sandstone tree set into a drystone wall. Inspired by the Celtic name Allen, which means shining water, Sarah Turnbull, aged 8, designed this tree. It is inlaid with lead as a reminder of Allendale's lead mining past, and its roots, which become rapids, are brushed with silver leaf.

Worlds and stories and songs, the strata of all that we have been and all that we believed of ourselves layered and overlapping. Pangaea, Laurasia, Gondwana, Panthalassa. Primeval forests teeming with life. Vast plains of flora and fauna competing, breeding and dying.
Dark World below Blue World below Yellow World below White World. Shambala, Eden, floodplains and mountain valleys. Deep caves with ashes from countless fires and energetic shapes dancing across the walls in their flickering light.
Vast kingdoms spreading across plateaus, blood soaked battlegrounds and rivers running red with blood. Troy, Ur, Atlantis, Pompeii, Alexandria, Timbuktu, Giza, Babylon, Teotihuacan, Cairo, Carthage.
Each layer covers the one below, and yet those beneath are sometimes incorporated into those above. A pyramid pierces them all, thrusting up into today, still reaching towards the sun. Some things are lost, and some things break out at unexpected times and places.
The strata of all that has come before sits below the plane of now.
And the World Tree, in whose shadow and branches and roots we make our way, has a taproot that extends down through every layer.