paying the rent

I had to drink a lot of meadowsweet to make this pilgrimage.

Mersey shore

on the Mersey shore

Mersey petals

rose petals and starflowers for the son of the sea


a storm coming…

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.

Outside News from Nowhere – where I finally picked up my copy of The Broken Cauldron! (n.b. it is brilliant) – I used the change to pay the busker for his music.

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)




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