We were out with time to spare on Friday morning, on our way to meet up to make plans for the workshop. Having a little time to spare we decided to call at Monsal Head. The hillfort there is still waiting for a visit and still making its presence felt. The morning was bitterly cold and blowing, but even so, the view over the valley was as beautiful as ever.
It is a curious place, with fragments of history lurking under every tree it seems, whispering tales of long ago to those with ears to hear. Shadows of forgotten days still linger by the river and each visit has been a revelation. Last time we had climbed the rocky slopes and found a giant. Now we simply paid our respects from a distance, there was no time to walk the slopes or wander through the woods.
We watched the birds ride the wind, tumbling and diving in what could only be the sheer joy of flight. You are so high that they fly below and above, soaring to the clouds or swooping down as if they rode a rollercoaster. Utter exuberance in motion. But we didn’t have long, the third of our company would soon be at the rendezvous and to be fair, we were frozen. And the Queen Anne has a fire. And Stowford’s.
It was an important meeting, finalising details and schedules for the April workshop which is now drawing so close. How to create ancient Egypt in Derbyshire…We have done it before, of course, but each workshop is unique, telling a different story that explores the heart and soul of Man, using dramatic ritual in the way it was used in the Mystery Schools of old. They are powerful weekends, lightened by revelry and much laughter. The staff of the Queen Anne know us well…
We also needed to lay provisional plans for upcoming workshops and next April too and, having come to an immediate agreement on what had been little more than a half-formed idea, 2016 will see us far from Egypt, walking the myths and legends of the Blessed Isles of Albion. Now the work begins in earnest, though Steve has been beavering away at the keyboard for some time. Stuart and I have to wait to fit our contributions around the central theme. Then there are all the practical issues to be dealt with… that’s the fun part for me, even though I usually hate sewing.
Next year our places will shift once again… And I thought back to the birds at Monsal Head, diving and swooping in their dance of air and feather… interdependent, intertwined… wing and wind each working with the other to produce the joyous display we had watched with our hearts a little while earlier. Each bird takes flight alone and adds their unique beauty to the skies, but it is only when they ride the wind, playing together in lightness and strength that their joy calls forth your own.