… ‘Remind me again, why we are going to Cadbury?’
Part of my reluctance for these, what might be called, impromptu assignations are the inevitable ruptures they make in the overall scheme of things.
Once a pattern has started to form it is somewhat disconcerting to have to unravel it all or even to amend it slightly to accommodate the new strand and even though I know that it is good for the flexibility of the mind and really what we should be doing all of the time it is still an effort and as such is ripe for avoidance if at all possible.
Plus the fact that it is another hill.
On a very hot day!
…Still, as we make our way out of the car-park and look up there does not appear to be much of a hill left to climb.
The Silver-Bullet, bless her aerodynamically modified sides, has already taken us up most of the height.
There is, though, a plague of gnats playing along an extended stretch of the tree tunnel which leads up to the hill-top.
Wen and I both turn our back on them which allows us to see the advertisement for the nearby pub which has been strategically placed for those descending the height.
‘Still looking for the castle?’
‘At least that’s lunch taken care of,’ grins Wen.
The thought of lunch and an invisible castle revives me somewhat.
After all what we have here is another Uffington.
Looked at in those terms it is difficult to imagine anything I would rather be doing really, although I still somehow doubt that there will be anything as spectacular as Uffington at the end of this particular tunnel of trees… Interesting how indolence passes from the body to the mind like that.
The best way out of it is to move and to move quickly so I put on something of a spurt to reach the top and leave Wen trailing…
‘It’s the thought of beer and food which does that you know…’
…There is something otherworldly about walking up a hill, crossing that threshold between the heat of a summer sun and the cool green of the trees. Glimpses of a landscape that conforms to what we have come to know as sacred are seen through breaks in the gnarled trunks, squirrels scamper busily along the branches and the inevitable sound of birds accompanies each breath.
Beside the track steep banks rise, channelling our footsteps through a narrow passage, guarded by ancient sentinels, rooted in earth. As the trees thin and the shade gets left behind it is almost like pushing through a tangible veil as we emerge into the unprotected sunlight of the summit. Looking back, the tunnel of trees closes in verdant darkness behind us, shutting us off from the world we left some five hundred feet below.
A solitary figure stands upon the far bank… there are always three, it seems, somehow. Although I know he is only another walker…I see the glint of a spear and a cloak flapping in the non-existent breeze…
‘…Remind me again why we are going to Cerne Abbas intead of staying at Cadbury?’
Excerpt taken from, The Heart of Albion by Stuart France and Sue Vincent