If there is one thing to say about yesterday it has to be said that I could feel my heart. From Mellowcroft and its organically created structure so beautifully described by Kim over breakfast to arrival in the exquisite town of waterfalls; Rhayader and the subsequent walk over the mountain pass to Llangurig it becomes truly a day made in heaven
Kim explains how each thing created at Mellowcroft came about as a result of identifying how one thing could improve the use of resources another created as its so called waste product so, for example, putting a wood fired range in the tree house welcome centre where visitors can come to eat and relax, a place that started out as a meditation platform and now incorporates three beech trees in a undercover shelter meant wasted heat so that a place for visitors to wash was then created utilising that heat to warm the water. I begin to see that when we create organically according the laws of nature we benefit from everything, and waste nothing, but at the same time this makes it a challenge to work with planners because everything must be thought out ahead of time.
Eddie drops me in Rhayader. My bridge has come out whilst eating lunch and I need to visit a dentist. I wish him well with his planning meeting. In the car we have talked of the challenges of discussions with people placed in positions of authority who simply do not have the life experiences to be able to think creatively. We live now, I believe, in a society that has valued theory above practice for far too long. We talk too of the power of story to inspire and engage and of how magical it would be if the planning officer could be inspired to transform her way of interpreting the laws she has to follow. Eddie sees nothing wrong with planning laws, he has read them thoroughly. The difficulty lies in how anything can be interpreted only through the eyes of experience and how our perception widens with this.the more limited our life experience the more limited our thinking and understanding of the world.
I find that the fifth treasure is surely the tale of Eddie and finding what it is that ignites the true warrior energy within each of us. It arises naturally when in our integrity we stand up for what we feel strongly enough for, to defend what is good.
As for the sixth treasure it has to be the feeling I get when I spend time in Rhayader. It is clearly a place that opens my heart. It is a feminine place for sure, not cauldron like crone energy like totnes but chalice like maiden energy, soft gentle friendly open welcoming, and allowing of vulnerability. Here every person I smile at and say hello to either responds in kind or has already greeted me first.
I make an appointment at the dentists and have an hour and a half to explore. I am delighted. There is a growing feeling that all that I had in the end felt absent from Hay, was here in this town of waterfalls. An old man approaches me
You look lost
No, just exploring, I smile
And he gives me directions for a mini river walk I can do.
I find tears come when I reach the waterfall. It is all so beautiful it is almost painful. Although the Victorians blew up the waterfall (!!) to make stone to build the bridge the remains are still breathtaking nestling into the lime green of summer foliage. I walk for my dad, with my dad, become my dad. I learn that part of the process of coming to terms with losing a well loved parent is taking on those qualities you most admired for yourself. This journey is giving me the opportunity to integrate this as I walk the river and gaze over bridges and into the water from its banks just as he always did when he was near a river. He loved visiting churches too and going down back lanes. I am sad that he can’t be here to enjoy this too but also recognising just how much my father’s daughter I am.
The walk takes me to the site of the old castle built by and destroyed by warring princes. As I perambulate its perimeter I perceive its circular nature and know that before ever this was a fortification it was a place of sanctuary for older peoples, overlooking the waterfall it must have been a magical home.
Yet again my journey has involved a circling round in amidst the direction of my quest. The integration if my masculine and feminine components being walked into balance. I cry tears of come home by the river.
Then I go off to find the bridge. I cross it and come to a much smaller settlement whose name means place between two rivers. The river Elan was flooded in Victorian times to provide reservoirs for drinking water for Birmingham. Here I find the church, with its circular yard and yew trees, of course, and read the name of this place of worship is St Bride. Brigid, the goddess of imbolc, the beginning of spring, the feminine in the form of the maiden. No wonder the place feels so gentle and I am able to feel my vulnerability and softness here, or perhaps, no wonder this place is dedicated to the form of the feminine that it exudes, early fragile delicate first blossoming after the winter has passed…after Merlin the god of Capricorn, the embodiment of Saturn, wise elder if the winter days, comes the maiden of spring, Nimue, to claim back the light and the promise of summer. The power is handed over for another year, another cycle of 13 moons.
The dentist fixes my bridge. He is the best dentist I have met since leaving Brazil in 2005. The benefits of the town at the waterfall, as its name means, are increasing by the moment. Here I can embody the maiden aspect of my self , a part of me that doesn’t flower in Totnes. There is even an excellent mini version of our excellent Green life health food shop; Wild Swan.
A perfect ten mile lane through the mountains where i see just one car n two cyclists all day tops of a magical morning. The gorgeous wye side walk far surpassing the wye valley walk for being close to the water, a fishermans paradise.
I find a deserted farm and then a small house for sale beside it and wonder if here, just three miles south of Llangurig,I have found my respite centre. Land for rent is just down the lane from it.
I arrive in Llangurig at 5pm. The idyllic car free road has got me to my destination far quicker than I usually reckon on completing a ten mile stretch.
I check it into the Bluebell inn and eat a delicious very reasonably priced supper. Devon prices I am remembering are super inflated to cater for all the Londoners that find their way west. Here in Wales prices reflect the normal everyday person without hugely inflated salaries.
I am up early this morning for my longest walk of the journey so far…up into Plimlimon where the sources of three rivers are. I won’t make it to the trickle of the Wye’s birthplace, the distance to there and then to accommodation is too great for me at my pace but I will be just a few miles east of it in the Hafren forest where my eco farm bnb is.
Wish me luck!