in the realm of cernunnos, the horned god
a drab day, an inconsequential copse, away on the cusp of the downs.
yet even then, is there anywhere you’d rather be than a british woods in the idyllic throes of spring?
a white carpet of wood anemones bob their heads beneath the breeze… birds flit, a warble of rapture
hawthorn and elder flush fresh with leaf
everywhere the froth of life, thin skein. green
i love this place, partly for the fact so few people bother to come here
all the paths are stopped. toppled trees from the great winters storm
upheaval. upended… vertical becomes horizontal
the roots claw scrabble down in the chalk. amongst the flint … not deep enough to withstand the barge and shove of air
i hunker down, these roots, a fungal earthen smell, gone to ground… a selfie, trying to conjure the trunks as cernunnos horns? not quite
next… bum shuffled along the trunk, over the crisp crackle lichen, till perched 10 ft above the path… legs a dangle. that’s plenty high enough for me!
with the breeze, occasionally the trunk thrums, a wave of vibrations move upwards, and then through my body
dragons of earth, dragons of air
i sit, still, thoughts settle then subside
emerging from the trees there’s a view of the abrupt white cliffs of seaford head, the spire of St Michael Newhaven peeks above the ridge
away, far down the valley, the silhouette of the Castle and the spire of St Michael Lewes
the archangel Dragon slayer! doubled.
The worm would have plummeted to earth somewhere along this ridge? I look for a long barrow? but none I know of nearer than on the hill above Alfriston
curious to think that, back in the neolithic, before the coming of sheep, all the downs would have been lightly wooded… a liminal space of dread
the path follows the sight line, directly downhill to the church in piddinghoe
and there in a stained glass window, clasped in a golden chalice, i find the baby dragon!
written quickly, coz thats fun too!
oh and i’ve got in the habit of writing respectful, but mildly eccentric words, in church visitors books… give it a go!
i love this site… you can zoom in anywhere and find all the barrows and ancient listed buildings wherever you care… lewes is an utter glut!