On English Portals

There is a certain quietness and a certain peace that exists here in the English countryside. Between the spacious, smooth pieces of green land divided up by thousand year old hedges and the tiny roads walled in by dense plant barriers, there is a special sense of magic.

When you drive through the villages, everything just feels old. You might be on your way somewhere and suddenly there’s a castle mixed in with the rest of the buildings. A castle! No idea why or how it got there. You go to a town and the buildings are so old they aren’t even close to straight anymore. Life is slow and steady and it seems as if it’s been going on like that for thousands of years. In that spot! Maybe it has. It continuously amazes me. These roads have been here for ages. Paved, Bricked, Cobbled, Roman, Dirt. Cars, Carriages, Wagons, Horses, Footpaths. You drive and have to keep remembering that these were the very same roads that knights on horses went down. The same routes that hunter gatherers and early traders cut into the earth by sheer frequency of travel. People have been using them forever.

When you get out into the countryside, out of the car, and you are immersed in it, it feels like it could go on forever. Sometimes it’s like we’re on another planet. Yesterday, I was sitting in a 5,000 year old stone circle in the furthest edges of remote Cornwall. I had the amazing realization that I had flown halfway around the world and then driven halfway across a country just to be in this quiet. Quite a feat and a luxury! When you get out here, in Cornwall, the land takes on new forms. It becomes almost mountainous and the familiar English hedges start to disappear in favor of raw, untamed wild nature. The villages get smaller and more isolated. Finally you get there. Like a portal. I’m sitting in the stone circle and my girlfriend is dancing around it wearing nothing but her skin. The wind is so gentle and quiet. There is no sound. Literally, no sound. The ground is soft. I am surrounded by standing stones and burial mounds and sheep. Younger ancient ruins are visible in three directions, ancient towers and dilapidated buildings. The color of the hills is a slightly neon shade of green that I’m not used to and the contrast with the bright blue cloudy sky is just beautiful.

There is an energy out there. From the stones. From the history. From the otherworldly setting. It’s hard to talk about. I just lay back and close my eyes and let it envelop me for a while. Everything spirals around me but it simultaneously feels still and peaceful. We could have stayed out there forever. Part of me wanted to. For a moment, we were living in some other story. Like a portal. Then, like no big deal, we jumped back through the portal into our normal world. Back into the car.

And then on to another sacred ancient place. How weird this life can be?!