After a harsh winter it is wonderful to be woken by the blackbirds mellow spring song. How many people hear it now the outside world is muffled by double glazed windows? They may keep in warmth and unwanted sounds out but they also cut us off from the sounds of nature.
Early this morning I Iwent out walking with Pops, my dog, I saw blackbirds busy finding nest material. I heard robins dueling with song for territory and the busy chatter of sparrows. But it is turning colder again so there was no sign of the Brimstone butterfly I had seen last week flying dozily along the lane ..
Friday, 11 February 2011
Gog and Magog were so self contained they cared not a jot for anyone else and they became more and more wayward . The love people felt towards them began to turn to dislike and even hatred. Their games and tricks became spiteful. Even Miriam was ashamed of them. The grumblings in the village grew and grew.
"just kicked over all the milk pails"
"They dragged my washing into the mud and then knocked me down"
The elders of the giants went to Noah to ask him to intervene to stop the twins. However Gog and Magog were too afraid to face their Grandfather's wrath, so they ran away never to be seen again. Sometimes rumours would reached the village about twins' monstrous ways. Time passed and the time of the giants was at an end and Noah called them home to the otherworld. Only Miriam and their father spared a thought for Gog and Magog as they crossed over.
Gog and Magog didn't spare a thought for them or anyone. The twins roamed far and wide. They would pull the wings off birds for fun. Gog and Magog had become horrid bullies and they had terrible tempers. When crossed the two Giants would rip trees and rocks from the earth and fling these missals at whatever or whoever, had sparked their rage.
The twins eventually reached the land of the Fororians. A fierce bandit race whose king Balore was savage and merciless. He had only one huge eye which was so powerful one glance from it was enough to kill an enemy. Gog and Magog fitted in really well in this band of vicious bandits and had many jakes and adventures. But even here the twins went too far and they heard Balore's horrendous growl,
"Gog and Magog I' ll see you!"
Gog and Magog knowing very well what that meant stole away across sea.
Their wandering and havoc continued. Finally they reached Albion, or Britain as some know it.. They rampaged their way across country towards the Isle of Avalon. Leaving dreadful destruction behind. They amused themselves at night by ripping off the roofs of dwellings and tossing the humans out of bed. Sometimes they sent them flying for miles into mires and dung heaps. They would Howl with laughter, filling with terror every person who heard it.
When they reached Avalon they munched their way through the apple orchards Until that fateful day when they entered an orchard and stuffed their mouths full of apples as usual. Crunch they bit into the apples. With bellows of disgust they spate them out. The apples were sour cider apples. Gog and Magog in a tantrum ripped out all the trees and trampled them into splinters. Now after this day of great of destruction they were tired and thirsty. They kicked open the doors of a barn. To their delight it was full of full of scrumpy cider. The twins drank every barrels then they slumped into a stupor.
The watchers called the Avalon tribes and clans together. While Gog and Magog slept they were tied up tightly. The Twins opened bleary eyes to see a angry crowd of human surrounding them.In their befuddled state they could not understand at first why they could not move. The tribes had sent for the Druids. Now they had captured the Twins they did not know what to do with them. There were many suggestions on how to kill them and they fell to arguing amongst themselves. Bored some of the tribesmen began to thrust spears into the the twins.
"Ouch!" roared Gog.
"Hey" howled Magog.
Some of the people started to run away. They tripped over the others who were advancing. Gog and Magog used the confusion and their mighty strength to break free. Drunkenly the twins staggered off. The tribes chased after them with their slings and spears. A huge rock hit Gog on the head and made him feel dizzy. They ran through some Stones some of which they kicked over out of spite. Then they were running up a long avenue of oaks they were being to slow down. Gog was feeling ill. He was still drunk, and the rock had almost knocked him out. He had also twisted his knee. A spear had sunk deep into Magog 's shoulder. Blood pumped out of the wound as they ran. They stumbled on. They came to end of the Avenue of oaks and in front of them was a great Tor. Gog gasped,
"I can't go on"
"We'll rest here."said Magog.
The Giants slumped behind two great oaks.
Gog peeped out and saw not a hordes of tribesmen pursuing them but one woman. She was tall with flowing dark hair she was dressed in white with an oak wand in her hand. She was walking calmly up the avenue.
The woman was the powerful Druidess Creirwy. who saw where they had hidden. She called their names quietly and the twins step out in front of the oaks facing her. Creirwy smiled at them, raised her wand and put of spell of enchantment on the two giants. She bound them with magic to the trees until the life in the oaks expired. Gog and Magog could do no more mischief. The Druidess planted a seed of loving compassion in each of their heart spaces. To shield the giants from the anger of the tribes who wanted to kill them in many horrid ways, the wise seer and Druidess put a spell on the area to protect the oaks from harm.
Gog and Magog fell asleep for hundreds of years. The avenue of trees was chopped down at the beginning of the 19th century The farmer did not see the mystery and beauty of ancient trees. He saw only a cash crop that would build him an impressive farm house. The woodsmen feeling the magic around the last two oaks refused to fell them. So the oaks remain to this day.
They say that at night the fairies dance and tumbled amongst the branches and Gog and Magog can be seen dreamily jigging in time to the music, but if anyone trespasses too near all they will see is fungi growing on the dead wood. Beware sleep will come hard for anyone disturbing the fairies merriment!
Gog and Magog slept on unaware that the Tor above them was a magical spot and that people came down Tyrel lane to see the last two oaks of the once mighty avenue. When they awoke a new age had dawned. Humans in their bright colourful clothes would come in groups, or alone, playing music, singing chanting. They come at Beltane and other festivals that mark the season and circle of the year. They tie ribbons and hide crystals and precious jewels in the crevices of the oaks. They tell Gog and Magog their secrets their hopes and dream. They hug the trees and send love to them. Sometimes in the oaks they saw a face, a fleeting shadow but then it was gone.
William came from America and brought Reiki healers from all over the world to this place of magic. They have been given the gift of the universal energy in the circle of Stonehenge. They meditate and chant and sit in silence in front of the venerable oak trees, They touched and hug Gog and Magog with healing hands.
If you visit the oaks you will find they are teaming with life day and night. In spring and summer you will hear the song of birds and chirps from the fledglings in the nest safe in the strong branches of Gog or Magog. Squirrels chase up and down the oaks and hide away in it acorns only to forget in winter where they put them. The harvest mouse, who has a bigger brain than squirrels and far more cunning, reaps the benefits of their work in winter.
One hot stifling summer night a tiny bat fell exhausted and dehydrated into Magog's branches and feebly crept in one of the boles in the heart of the Oak. Here the dying creature found a cool shelter and a tiny pool of crystal clear healing water which saved his life. Every year the bat would return and bring his offspring to Magog and the generations of bats that followed still come with their youngsters.
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Today was sunny and mild and I had a tranquil morning cutting my willow whips which form a fedge* along one edge of my allotment. Some of the stems were eight or nine foot high (3 metres) and had grown straight skyward others have branched out at ground level, some at chest high. The willow is unusual in that cuttings can be placed in the ground even upside down and they will grow. The colours of the new growth are a beautiful fresh yellow, green or lovely copper brown and the buds are swelling ready to burst into flower and leaf.