…Her hand crept to the feather at her throat.
Her gift from the gods.
The colour of flame.
She had strayed from the path.
Preparing herself for what was to come.
The great bird had wheeled overhead.
Soaring above the trees in the morning.
She had looked down and seen rainbows caught in the feather, bright against the grass and smiled…
…Having exhausted my wish list of trips yesterday I have left today’s agenda to Wen and our first port of call is to another little church, Hulcott – All Saints. This church thing would not necessarily have been a top priority of mine but the discoveries at Little Missenden came as such a pleasant surprise that I find my anticipation rising as we approach the church porch and I start to envisage the possibilities that may lie inside.
… Wen has skipped along the gravel path and entered the church porch she pauses and looks back at me mysteriously, as I gain the porch, and then twists the iron door ring with a yank and leans into the heavy oaken door. The door does not yield. The door is locked…
“No matter,” says Wen, “they sometimes put contact details up, she starts to scrutinise the notice board of the porch and then taps a number into her phone…
Bugger times two!
We content ourselves with a swift circuit of the church but that merely emphasises the sense of disappointment and as we climb back into the car I start to wonder if we are destined for a hangover. It would have been in any case difficult to match the enormities of yesterday’s explorations and maybe we should be spending some time assimilating their significance rather than tearing about the country-side… it is akin I suppose to what as teenagers we used to call ‘Chasing the Dragon’ when we stayed out all night looking for drinking parties.
“No worries” says Wen, “there’s another we can try on the way.”
Wen of course has no such doubts, “on the way to where?”
“The Hell-Fire Caves.” Don’t you remember any of our conversation last night?
“Ah, yes, the Hell-Fire Caves…”
To be honest it feels a little bit off-beam to me but it is a place of interest in the area and we need to do something today…I attempt to retrieve some of last nights conversation from the fog of grape but before I have even got to the Megalithic Behemoth of Wayland’s name, we are pulling up outside the village church of Oving…
The mound of this one is too obvious not to remark and there are several stone steps and a still fairly steep incline before … Wen skips along the gravel path and enters the church porch where she pauses and looks back at me mysteriously… this is already becoming something of a ritual for us and as I gain the porch I find myself hoping against hope that the door will open… Wen twists the iron door ring with a yank and leans into the heavy oaken door. The door does not yield. The door is locked…
“There should be a law against it.”
“It’s sort of understandable I suppose.”
“Desecration of sacred places is incomprehensible on any scale…and besides now we’re on a mission it’s totally and wholly unacceptable.”
“And what mission would that be?” Wen arches her eyebrow in saintly fashion.
“Not sure yet… I’ll let you know.”
‘I know now’
‘What do you now know?’
‘I know what the mission is.’
‘Well, that didn’t take long.’
‘We’re on a mission to feel true.’ …
– Excerpt from, The Initiate: adventures in sacred chromatography