I had to drink a lot of meadowsweet to make this pilgrimage.
The rose and borage flowers from my backyard pots (and one calendula flower which my tiny camera couldn’t capture) were intended for another place: Bryn Celli Ddu. But I was in no fit state for an overnight vigil.
I watched the shortest night come in from underneath a young oak tree overlooking our valley. As the darkness grew I let my pain, my anxiety and shame fall away into the earth, and sat among the breathing hills in stillness. At sunrise, still in bed, I questioned how far to push myself; at midday, I filled a bottle with water and meadowsweet tincture, placed my garden offerings in a jar at the bottom of my bag, and set off for Liverpool.
In Victoria station, the Big Issue seller – Stefan – gave me a loyalty card.
In some half-realised way, my mind muddled by pain, I understood that these were other ways to pay the rent. One day I will understand better and express it all more clearly; for now, I just take joy in doing what feels right.
At last, I reached the shore of the Mersey; that industrial lagoon which, polluted as it is, still calls to my soul. I cast my offerings into the waters. No green rushes grow in my backyard; instead I offered nectar-rich herbs and healing flowers. I watched them bobbing on the waters for a while, and then turned back towards my inland home.
a bundle of green Rushes each year
And that they had to pay as a Tax
Throughout the Country each St John’s Eve
– Coontey Jeh Ellan Vannin Ayns Arrane (The Traditionary Ballad)