A Harvest from the Ever Turning

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As the wheels of time roll on, we all turn the matter that we gather into the matter that we are. So it is wise to gather well.

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What have I learned from all this? What will I take away? To be frank, I have not learned much I did not already know. But when it comes to the nature of ourselves, and of others, nor do any of us. We just chip away at the disbelief until the underneath is exposed long enough to remember what we always thought was true.

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A journey – Life being the greatest of them all – takes you through cycles of daybreak to day’s end. It takes you through landscapes, through textures, through processes. Kindness is offered. We learn much about our natures through how we receive it. We meet people, and they stay in our hearts and minds bound up with the landscape and the resonance of their story. Problems are encountered, and how we deal with them determines how many more cycles it will take for us to learn that lesson.

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There is a pulsing silken thread that weaves and wefts the fragments of our lives together. With it all we build a house for ourselves. One that is ever changing – with new material being brought in, and that which no longer serves us well, being cast out. It is strong, variegated, fragile, and beautiful as a wasps’ nest.

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On this journey I have had many teachers. Too many to name them all, and some impossible to name. But a few that are burning brightly from my adventures of late:

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From the landlady of The Northmore Arms in Dartmoor, I learned to accept kindness when it is offered. I had gone off onto Dartmoor intending to bivvi, almost desperate to sleep outside as so much hospitality had been offered which often meant I was indoors or in a tent. I had gone there to write my blog, and left in the dark & drizzle, having been offered her spare room. A little way down the road, I realised that to accept is as much a part of kindness as to give, so I turned on my heel. She cooked me some supper.

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From Fergus ‘the Forager’ Drennan, I learned how joyful someone’s character can be when they spend their lives outside, learning from and eating of what nature has to offer. I learned to make paper out of mushrooms and to not be afraid to try.

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Ronnie Aaronson, a natural beekeeper, reaffirmed my instinct to trust what comes into your path, by offering me her mill-house as a base in Devon without knowing me. Such a place of transformation as a mill is a fitting abode for a wise woman who talks to her bees and plays the flute to her willows, which are transformed into wood chip to warm her in the winter. And a fitting place for me to come back to as I turned several cycles up in Dartmoor.

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Meeting Rima Staines, I was reminded that the best stories are true, and that healing can come if we are patient and trust that it will.

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As I watched a slug, making my way up a hill to the place overlooking the Wye Valley where I would spend my final night, I truly appreciated what it is to cross terrain fully, with senses opened wide.

 

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I have had the good fortune to have two full months, two moon cycles, dedicated to listening to the spoked voice over and over and over again. I finally came to understand the engraving in my wedding ring: TRAUST (Icelandic ~ trust/solidity). Trust, full trust, will give rise to an indomitable solidity of spirit, even while material existence seems anything but.

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If there is one thing I ask of you, dear readers, it is to give yourselves the space to wander. It is not as hard as it seems. Once you are doing it you will wonder why you do not do it more often. Do not have a plan. It will be alright. It will be much more than alright. Life is no more linear than the branches of a tree. It is so much more interesting than that. It will be magical.

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14 Responses to “A Harvest from the Ever Turning”

  1. Abby Palmer says:

    Oh Sarah – What incredibly beautiful words for such a beautiful thing you’ve done. It has been such a pleasure to accompany you, by way of your blog, on your summer wanderings. I do feel as if I have been with you, and shared in your encounters – in part – as you’ve trekked around England. Your final thoughts are so heartfelt and wise – I felt quite choked up reading them. I would say I’m sad your wayfaring is over. But it’s never really over, is it? Here’s to a little more every day wandering, and the magic in between.

    • Sarah Thomas says:

      I was pretty choked up writing them actually, and it feels that straight after, the summer put on it’s sleeping cap and curled up under the duvet to dream. Thank you for coming along, and as you say, it’s never really over. See you at journeysinbetween.wordpress.com !

  2. Rima says:

    Artful, moving, beautiful words.
    You were so the right person to do this summer Wayfaring :)
    In deep appreciation and gratitude for the journey-strands that linked with my path..
    xx

  3. Trish says:

    wonderful….

  4. cath says:

    And it seems only natural that both the word ‘transformation’ and the verb ‘transformed’ appear in this last story. It seems only natural as the combination of your stories with the photographs to me were about a different kind of relationship and as much about human nature as about the nature of other than human.
    ” We just chip away at the disbelief until the underneath is exposed long enough to remember what we always thought was true.”
    I am grateful and you have a new follower on Journeys in Between.

  5. Tom says:

    Beautiful and wise. Thank you for gracing our home.
    Tom x

    • Tom says:

      ( I also like to think that that’s the last shot the iPad took before you crushed its camera and screen with your Wayfaring Stick…)

      • Sarah Thomas says:

        :) You should have seen me and Robert trying to prod said iPad with said walking stick to take a photo of ourselves for the ‘In conversation’! In the end we concluded we’d also have to strap a finger onto the stick, so lurked in the woods for an unsuspecting passer by!

    • Sarah Thomas says:

      Thank YOU Tom, for gracing my path, and taking me in and for all the journeys we’re yet to make.

  6. Seth says:

    Great writing. I’ve really enjoyed following your adventures and encounters through magical bits of countryside: a window into another world free from the bricks and roads that have filled my summer view. Are you passing through Babylon on your way back out? Give me a shout if you are xx

    • Sarah Thomas says:

      Oo ‘ello! Didn’t know you were there with me. Glad to be of window service! Babylon is imminent, yes. Fly out to see Orri this Sunday so maybe see you Sat? xx

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Sarah Thomas is Penguin's Wayfarer and she'll be walking and writing for us all summer. Follow her journey here!

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