glastonbury and the kilns

I am an incredible homebody. 

Being away for three weeks is difficult for me. Three weeks sounds like a short time, but to me, it feels like a long time. Even though I love traveling and seeing and experiencing – even though I love being in England – I miss being at home. 

I don’t like being away from Tracy or my pug boys.

I crave a hot salt bath and a night in my own bed.

It’s Saturday and I’m writing this from a very different sort of bed in Oxford, listening to the wind in the trees and watching the rain fall. Tomorrow, I’ll go to Mass one last time at St. Mary Magdalen and eat a heavy lunch and yes, probably more sugar, and on Monday morning, begin the journey back.

I’m grateful for this trip but ready to be home.

I’ve seen some parts of England I’d never seen before – like the National Gallery, and London’s Hampstead where I walked across the Heath and had spaghetti at the Coffee Cup, and Hereford, where the Cathedral’s stained glass sang to me.

But this trip was bookended by the two most important experiences – theology school at the beginning and the full moon in Glastonbury with Jackie followed by a trip to C. S. Lewis’ grave and home at the end.

I can’t adequately describe how good it was to be with Jackie. I have such love and respect for her and to see her walking through a car park toward me is just the best feeling ever.

I can think of no better way to spend a significant full moon than in Avalon with Jackie.

We started our day at the Abbey.

Glastonbury Abbey is connected with legend to a degree that is unparalleled by any other abbey in England. Since Medieval times it has held legendary status as the earliest Christian foundation in Britain linked to Joseph of Arimathea and the burial place of King Arthur.

Glastonbury Abbey is connected with legend to a degree that is unparalleled by any other abbey in England. Since Medieval times it has held legendary status as the earliest Christian foundation in Britain linked to Joseph of Arimathea and the burial place of King Arthur.

We had tea and visited shops and climbed the Tor in the evening.

We stayed in an Air B&B with a kind and interesting host then visited the Chalice Well the next morning.

The Chalice Well is among the best known and most loved holy wells in Britain. Many legends are attributed to its chalybeate waters, which flow ceaselessly at a steady rate and temperature that never varies. Not least among these is that they represent the blood of Christ miraculously springing forth from the ground when Joseph of Arimathea buried or washed the cup used at the Last Supper. For others the waters are acknowledged as the essence of life, the gift from Mother Earth to sustain its living forms and so a continuous spring-like Chalice Well is a direct expression of an unbounded life force.  

The Chalice Well is among the best known and most loved holy wells in Britain. Many legends are attributed to its chalybeate waters, which flow ceaselessly at a steady rate and temperature that never varies. Not least among these is that they represent the blood of Christ miraculously springing forth from the ground when Joseph of Arimathea buried or washed the cup used at the Last Supper. For others the waters are acknowledged as the essence of life, the gift from Mother Earth to sustain its living forms and so a continuous spring-like Chalice Well is a direct expression of an unbounded life force.

 

That afternoon, after Jackie had headed home and I was back in Oxford, Jenny and Mary took my mother and me to the church where C.S. Lewis is buried.

There was something so beautiful and perfect about the offerings of pinecones left on his grave marker. It touched me deeply. We went on to see his house and walked in the nature preserve that was once his property.

It is a magical place.

These past three weeks, but particularly the first days and these last days, represent a profound healing shift for me. I’m not ready or can’t yet speak about it specifically, but it happened and I’m processing it and I’m feeling fortified for the journey forward.

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
— C.S. Lewis

I’m feeling a lot less pessimistic about myself – about this vessel, my body, about life and the next half of it.

This morning as I made my coffee, I noticed the way my feet felt against the floor. I noticed how it is that my feet fit against the ground. 

I’m noticing how my heart fits in the world.