Day 3. Rosemerryn
Sitting in a comfy chair looking out on the garden with a cup of tea and my phone/keyboard to write before anyone wakes up. I love this time of day.
The past two days have been so full. As Wende said last night, "That was just yesterday?!" So much happens in a day that it can seem like a week or a month in any given 24 hour period.
In leaving Penzance yesterday morning to go to Madron Well, we left the busy-ness of being in town and entered the remote wildness and ancientness of Penwith. Even though Penzance is also a part of the wild western Cornwall energy, the town energy takes over and one is not connected to the land and the place in the same way. While it was wonderful to be in Penzance, walk the old and narrow streets, have restaurants and shops, as well as cash machines nearby, we entered into a different space when we left the town.
My sense is that we were all ready for it, and welcomed this change of place, and energy. The first day and two nights were about arriving, and entering into the spiral. Through walking the "Cornish Camino", even part of it, we experienced our first encounter with the land and the place. For some, they may have also built their confidence and gotten their walking legs under them.
Our day on the "Cornish Camino", or St Michael's Way, had two distinct parts to it. Our walk along the Coastal Path from Lelant to Carbis Bay, that included a walk down to the beach where we ate our lunches in the shade of the cliffside, and creating (and walking) a spontaneous labyrinth in the flat sands. The tide was still on its way out, and as we looked for another way to return to the path, we saw a ravine with steps down on the far west side of the beach that was only accessible when the tide was low. We decided to attempt this exit, and made it to the bottom just as the tide had received enough for us to wade through water up to our calves. The climb was steep and a little tricky, but we all made it up to the top. It felt as though it was an initiation of sorts, because at the top of the rocks was a beautiful cave and spring cut out of the hillside. Possibly the Mary Well that we had been told about earlier by a local when we were looking for the Lelant Well, it was a large cave out of which iron-rich waters streamed down the rocks into the sea. Beautiful, and at the same time, defiled by cans and rubbish, Elyn offered prayers of healing for this sacred spot.
Called forth by a nearby standing stone, the rest of the group walked on to find the nearest "Public Footpaths" out of Carbis Bay that would reconnect us with St Michael Way. We didn't get too far when we found a bar that served coffees and cider. Thirsty, we stopped to regroup and to shift into the second part of the day's pilgrimage walk.
We easily found our way out of town, crossing fields and stiles as we walked our way above town. The views of the sea and beaches were spectalcular and we found our late afternoon walking rhythm. The paths narrowed and widened as we passed through wildflowers and then wide open fields, down lanes and across farms.
We then crossed a stile that took us into a field with another fenced off field inside of it, and there, inside the fenced off field, stood the lone standing stone. Some of the group felt an immediate "no" to crossing the barrier to the stone; others of us felt more open and felt a pull toward it. It was an unexpected opportunity for each of us individually, and the group as a whole to feel into and discern whether or not we were to engage with this ancient stone.
I knew that at the far end of the larger field was the entrance to the magical faerie glen that I so fondly remembered from last year. II had stopped there to wee in the woods and to take a breath in as I walked. This year, I was elated as I came upon it again. I took my pack off and put it down, right under a wooden arrow that pointed away from the standing stone and to the stile. Last year, I was so mesmerized by the stile and nearby stones that I didn't even notice the standing stone. This year, I realized that it actually stood quite close, separated by a fence with barbed wire.
What was my feeling about crossing this ungated fence to engage with the standing stone? I knew that several women were a very strong and clear no. Wende, in particular, was feeling a very strong pull. What was I feeling in the midst of others' clear and strong feelings?
As I asked, my eyes were drawn to the entrance to the faerie glen and to my pack that was laying under the arrow pointing away from the standing stone. And I knew my guidance was to rest in this sweet and sacred spot. I was not to go to the stone but allow myself to experience and be nourished by the faerie glen. At the same time, I was to respect and support everyone else's truth. Wende did go to stone and I felt as though I there to witness and hold the space for her to do this.
Entering the faerie glen was even more magical than last night. We walked down the hilll through a copse of trees and wildflowers that held us close was we descended. I smile just remembering my delight at returning to experience this magical place. We came out on a drive and was greeted by a friendly dog and his owner Further down the drive, we arrived at Bowl Rock, a large round rock that is now cared for by the National Trust. Several of us sounded deep tones at this wonderful place before we crossed the road and headed up the hilll to the half way point: 6 miles to Marazion, 6 miles to Lelant.
Now at the bottom of Trencrom Hill, we had made this our destination to climb to the top and experience the ancient settlement. It was now 8pm, and the evening light bathed us in golden light as we stood on top the hill, looking out to the coast on north and down to the coast on the south.
St Michael's Way crosses Cornwall at its most narrow point, and here we could see from whence we came and if we were to continue, where we could be going. A perfect place to stop for the day, it's as though we got to complete our day with a wide open perspective of the path in all directions.
Tomorrow would be the Summer Solstice and bring new adventures and experiences.