Back to the start… again

“Can we go out for the day together?” asked my younger son. Days are precious because of their uncertainty around here at the moment, but the chance to spend time with my son and granddaughters made the answer one that I did not need to think about. With everywhere closed and covid restrictions in place, it would have to be in the open air and the first place that sprang to mind was Wayland’s Smithy.

We were lucky with the weather… a glorious, if chilly, spring day dawned. A picnic packed to eat in the car and a wheelchair borrowed ‘just in case’. With the girls sharing the back seat with Stuart, we headed off to one of the most iconic ancient sites in the land… and the place where the adventures Stuart and I have shared over the years had begun so long ago. It was to be a special day for so many reasons.

I already knew that I would not be able to climb Dragon Hill and planned to wait, looking out over the Manger, while the others climbed to the top. I had told the girls the legend about how St George had slain the dragon atop this hill, and how the bare patch of chalk that remains on its summit is where the dragon’s blood was spilt and the grass no longer grows. Caught between shivers of delight and disbelief, Hollie, at six years old, appeared to approve of the story.

I watched the great kites and the buzzards circling far beneath me, and arms outspread, the two little girls ‘flew’ around the hilltop. I could remember clearly our dear friend and companion in the Silent Eye, running down the top of the hill, arms outspread, taking off like a dragon… and she has not ‘come down’ since πŸ™‚

Disaster struck when I fell down for the second time… my leg simply ‘disappearing’ as far as my nerves were concerned. This time I took Stuart out with me and the wheelchair was reluctantly brought out from the car. We drove to the main car park and Stuart and I waited on the grass while Alex and his girls went to see the chalk-cut figure, thousands of years old, that is said to represent a White Horse, or Epona, the horse-mother goddess. Or, given that it has a ‘beak’ or flames coming from its mouth, perhaps a dragon…

Uffington White Horse - Wikipedia

Image Wikipedia

Once again, tucked up with a tartan blanket and a granddaughter under each arm, I shared the legends, telling them about the great prehistoric enclosure of Uffington Castle and where to find the Fairy Thorn beside which a skylark had risen one fateful and misty morning that had changed our lives. I was hoping that they would feel the same magic in the land as we had done, and being open to it, would let it in.

A long time later, my son and his girls came back and we headed off to Wayland’s Smithy, just a mile down the five thousand-year-old track known as the Ridgeway. The wheelchair was a necessity now and not one I was happy about… but needs must. I told them the legends… Stuart added to them by including silver-shod unicorns… capturing a little magic for the girls. We told Alex about the feather that fell from the sky when we had been here that first time… a small, white feather, exactly like the one the girls had found and given to me earlier that morning.

The girls made friends with the welcoming darkness of the tomb, sitting within its embrace. Perhaps my own imminent passing may be softened a little for them as they remember the feeling of a peaceful place where loved ones were laid with such care and respect… a place where laughter is as welcome as reverence and where the sun ripples on the spring flowers playing in the breeze.

Wayland’s is a place to which we have taken many people we love, seeking to share the love of the ancient land and its lore that began to blossom for us there. As another generation learned to see with ‘fairy eyes’… to see the many faces hidden in the spirit stones and feel the living presence of earth, stone and sky, I was so glad we had been able to share the day. All you need to do is go out and connect with your roots, no matter where you are in the world… the earth has no boundaries, but continues as a whole, even beneath the sea and beyond time.

And were I in any doubt at all about whether the girls were old enough to understand, two small stones had been picked up along the path and hidden in pockets until they were home… small stones that are standing stones in miniature, covered, from whichever angle you look, in faces…

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in albion, Ancestors, Books, france and vincent, Photography, The Initiate and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

173 Responses to Back to the start… again

  1. Love that last “shadows” photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sheri Dye says:

    I read this breathlessly like a child at the fireside. Thank you so much for sharing this with us, you write so beautifully.🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very good Sue. Both the narration and pics are superb

    Like

  4. Pingback: Back to the start… again β€” Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo |

  5. Sadje says:

    What a lovely outing. I’m glad you shared fairyπŸ§šπŸ»πŸ§šβ€β™‚οΈπŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ magic with the little ones. πŸ’šβ€οΈ

    Like

  6. kittysverses says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience and photos with us, Sue. A beautiful write, enjoyed reading. πŸ™‚

    Like

  7. Jen Goldie says:

    It’s so beautiful, I had to share it. I hope you don’t mind. xx

    Like

  8. restlessjo says:

    Wonderful to be able to share that magic, Sue. Falling down or upright, a special day πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Like

  9. Helen Jones says:

    How beautiful, Sue! I thought of you on the weekend, with the weather being so nice, and it sounds as though you had a wonderful day. I’ve not yet visited Waylands, but when I do I’ll look for you there πŸ™‚ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on pensitivity101 and commented:
    Wonderful piece, precious memories, time having gone full circle.

    Like

  11. A wonderful day to make memories to share in the future. The feather was a sign of home and belonging ❀

    Like

  12. Darlene says:

    How wonderful to share the place and the story with your sweet granddaughters. They will not forget this day. xo

    Like

  13. willowdot21 says:

    What a truly beautiful day of memories Sue. πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

    Like

  14. Mary Smith says:

    A magical day out for you all and some wonderful memories for your granddaughters to keep. And son and Stuart, too, of course.

    Like

  15. beth says:

    what a beautiful day for so many, many reasons.

    Like

  16. Jen Goldie says:

    Ok done! I should get some sleep. Soon…

    Like

  17. How wonderful to give your granddaughters more precious memories. Your writing is so beautiful. G-d bless.

    Like

  18. Goff James says:

    Hi, Sue. So pleased you had a great day out with family, sharing tales and memories. Love the photos. Take great care of yourself.

    Like

  19. lizannelloyd says:

    Reblogged this on Lizanne lost in a good book and commented:
    A beautiful post from a very special person.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you for letting us come along Sue. ❀️

    Like

  21. lizannelloyd says:

    I have shared your wonderful blog on my site, Sue. We will miss you so much, but your words and thoughts will still be with us.

    Like

  22. fransiweinstein says:

    What a glorious day you had and what a memory you have given your grand daughters! And your son will forever have an image of you sharing your love of history and symbols and nature with his daughters. I am so very happy you got to share one of your favourite places with them and now again with us. ❀️

    Like

  23. trentpmcd says:

    Sounds like a nice little outing, though sorry you had to be wheeled instead of walking through a lot of it. Cool that the girls got to hear a bit of the local lore, even if a unicorn or two were added. Great write-up and photos. And, of course, I just recently visited those sites through The Initiate πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  24. suespitulnik says:

    What a wonderful day of making memories for your son and granddaughters.

    Like

  25. I’ve been waiting for this post and it did not disappoint. I’m so glad you were able to share the magic of this place with your granddaughters. I’m not surprised they understood. ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  26. So wonderful indeed! ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jean Reiland says:

    Hi Sue. how is Ani doing?

    Like

  28. noelleg44 says:

    What a lovely day and outing, Sue. And I’m so impressed that the girls brought home stones. I hope their father will keep on the tradition. Gorgeous pictures as usual!

    Like

  29. V.M.Sang says:

    I am so glad you could go out with your sons and granddaughters. I am certain they will remember it all their lives, just as I am certain they will have picked up a lot of the wonder you have for the world from you.

    Like

  30. Lovely, Sue… Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  31. TamrahJo says:

    Someday, in the future, a small child will be sitting next to their mother as she shows her ‘treasures’ from the box – – a stone….a white feather… and the day spent with her grandma and the silver shod unicorns that showed up and…….. the magic flows on…. ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  32. C.E.Robinson says:

    Sue, thank you for sharing the magic in your life. Going back to your roots brings me back to mine, growing up in a small town in Maine. I’ve also collected stones from many places. Reminders of treasured memories. Your grandchildren did the same and made me smile. Thinking of you. πŸ“šπŸŽΆβ€οΈ Christine

    Like

  33. I love it that your granddaughters hear those old stories from you, Sue. They will always remember the magic and carry it in their hearts and pockets. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Eliza Waters says:

    “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” πŸ˜‰ Glad you brought the wheelchair, worth getting out and about, I’d think. So nice to have that day with A, the girls and S. What a gift to pass your love of the land to the girls. H. will surely remember it. Pocketed treasures forgiven. πŸ˜‰ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I’m glad you were able to share the tales and create another beautiful memory with your son and grandaughters. It’s a shame the wheelchair had to come out, but I’m sure everything else about the trip will be much clearer in the hearts and memories of the girls than that fact. Also, I love that the girls connected with the place so well they took their own small stones home without any adult prompting or knowledge, as well as the fact they presented you with a feather identical to the one that landed in front of you when you were there before.

    Like

  36. Pingback: MarySmith’sPlace ~ Cancer Diary #26 – all kinds of medical questions; so far without answers | Mary Smith's Place

  37. Widdershins says:

    And the Wheel turns ever onward. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  38. socialbridge says:

    I love that the girls brought the stones home and that you got to share such precious moments.
    Stanny wants to know it Ani was in the mix?

    Like

  39. Wonderful thoughts and photographs, Sue. You are making memories for all your family to hold in their hearts. Take care of yourself. Jx

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Leanne says:

    What a beautiful family and a fun memory to cherish!

    Like

  41. I’m very glad you are passing on the magic. And I’m very glad you had a beautiful day and the weather cooperated. Perfect days like that are so rare for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. memadtwo says:

    This is such a treasure of time and place from every angle. I’m so glad your granddaughters were able to share it with you. (K)

    Like

  43. gmvasey says:

    Brilliant stuff…. so glad you got there and I will treasure the day we spent there…

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Jim Borden says:

    how lucky your granddaughters are to be able to listen to your stories that are both educational and entertaining. sounds like it was a special day…

    Like

  45. Fairy magics is around us all, if we stop and look and listen and FEEL. I feel that there is lots of fairy magic within you, Sue, as you slay some mean dragons and “teach the children well.” ❀

    Like

  46. dgkaye says:

    A beautiful venture with the family Sue I’m sure the precious ones loved the tour with grandma ❀ xx

    Like

  47. CarolCooks2 says:

    A beautiful magical day that your son and granddaughters will remember and return to many times in the future where I know they will find your presence …in the wind, the trees… all around them …Thank you for sharing such a special day, Sue… Hugs x

    Like

  48. The whole post is just beautiful ❀

    Like

  49. Jennie says:

    My goodness! Spending the day at a remarkable site that you know so well with your granddaughters – and telling them the stories (that’s the best part) – will be a day they’ll always remember. I can picture the day. Thank you for this post and taking me there, Sue.

    Like

  50. Thats definitely magic! Your writing, and also the landscape! Thank you for sharing, Sue! Best wishes, Michael

    Like

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