To the wilds of the Cornish coast and my encounter with Uther Pendragon and his famous son!

On to the birthplace of King Arthur and a "raspberry" to everyone who told me it was not worth the trip! Many of my friends told me not to bother with the long drive from Bath to Cornwall just to visit Tintagel, cause it was full of loud mouthed tourists and screaming kids! I've always wanted to visit Tintagel, and the major reason for our expedition to Cornwall was to do just that! I wasn't prepare to fore go a trip to Cornwall just because Tintagel may be crowded and a bit commercial. To be honest, I employed the same strategy that has previously been incredibly successful on my jaunts to Avebury, Salisbury, Lacock and other popular sites. The night before I had headed off on my final long day excursion with Glennys, I sat on my bed and envisioned arriving in Tintagel in a "bubble", experiencing the place as it would have been in ancient times and connecting with the energy of the Arthurian court.

As previously reported, though there were a few people around in Boscastle, it hadn't meant we were limited in what we did or that we had to wait for our tea and scones, so I had no reason to expect as we drove down the road to Tintagel that anything would be different, after all, I'd set it all up last night in my head (and heart) before I went to sleep!

We pulled up in the car park and walked down the road past the "King Arthur Pizza Parlour" and the "Merlin Surf Shop and Crystal Cave" (or places to that effect). We arrived at the gate to buy our tickets onto the island and the lady said that we'd only have 45 minutes till they "locked it up" (whatever that meant). Glen and I passed two couples coming down the 300 or so stairs that lead over the land bridge to the island and they were the ONLY PEOPLE we saw the whole time we were there!

We spent what seemed like hours, walking quietly over the rocks and crags, through the ruins, up stairs, down stairs, across the wild landscape rarely speaking but both immersed in our own private thoughts. For me, I felt like I'd walked through a veil of time and space, similar to how I felt at Avebury, but the energy of this place was wild and free. Birds soured overhead, the waves crashed on the rocks below as I sat in the garden bed where I imagined Arthur's mother Igraine sat during her pregnancy, waiting for her second husband Uther Pendragon to return to her after fighting against the Saxons. The wind was wild and gusty, but I didn't feel cold. The sun was bright and warm, the clouds were fluffy and grey, the landscape was absolutely stunning! The grand, ancient rocks stood like sentinels on the edge of the rugged cliffs. The remains of the castle held the energy of the grand court that they once housed. I could feel them all, Arthur, the Merlin of Britain, Vivien, the Lady of the Lake, Morgaine le Fay (Arthur's half-sister) and of course Guinevere and Lancelot. I know this all sounds a bit romantic and "air-headed", but I'm telling you this place has a mystic quality I simply can't describe.

I explored every inch of the island. I stopped and looked at the tiny wild flowers that grow in abundance. I leaned against giant boulders and stood on the very edge of the cliffs, with my arms outstretched feeling like I could simply jump off and glide over the island as the sea birds above me were doing. After what seemed like hours, the lady from the ticket box ambled over and told us she was ready to "lock up" and go home. I must say, I felt like it WAS time for me to go. The sun was setting, there was a real chill in the air and I knew my journey had come to an end.

Glennys and I took our time walking back down the stairs, looking at the myriad of smugglers caves along the coast and sharing our thoughts and feelings. Funnily enough the long, steep walk back to the town seemed effortless. We found ourselves a seat at the oldest pub in Cornwall and sat together quietly drinking a wine and pondering the mystery of things.

I have always been drawn to the Arthurian stories, the love, the tragedy and the vision of a better world. From the time I was a little girl I felt drawn to a place on the other side of the world. The lesson in this for me is that I NEARLY didn't come, because I allowed myself to be influenced by OTHER PEOPLE'S experiences. If I had not heeded my OWN inner guidance I would have missed out on one of the most awe inspiring experiences of my life..............45 minutes (which felt like 45 hours) I will never forget. The lesson in this for me is AGAIN, to trust my own heart and follow it! I don't know how many times I need this proved to me, but I think finally I've got the message.

Over and over this Churchill Fellowship for me has been integral to my own quest. A quest for knowledge, a quest for meaning and most of all a quest for validation of the path I have chosen. I am so lucky to have connected with these truly powerful places that retain the energy of all those wise and learned people who have come before............all of that energy retained in the landscape of these wild and wonderful places. All of the love and pain of a life on earth and the wisdom freely shared with us as we grapple with our own challenges in the 21st century.

SO, my little piece of advice..............if you feel drawn to a time, a place, a history, a story, a life, don't let the experiences of others push you away from your path. Their experience is THEIR experience. Your experience will be YOUR experience..................and often these are the polar opposite. WHY? Because we are all unique and individual and have chosen what it is we want and need to learn and experience in this lifetime and no one knows better than ourselves what those things are.

So I farewelled Tintagel with a light heart and a feeling of achievement. I drove home the four hours to Bath chatting madly to Glennys and feeling wonderful. That night I slept the sleep of the dead. I didn't wake. I didn't dream. I was totally immersed in the wonder of all I had seen, felt and always known and you cant ask for more than that!

No comments: