Aesthetic Sunrise over the Tor: Landscape and People

Early morning pale peach juice, wrung from the sun’s beaming rind, infuses the milk of a January sky with colour so that miracles of delicate apricot and mauve and lightest gold brazen out their beauty and banish the grey which has been so ubiquitous of late.

Right on top of Glastonbury’s brick-and-mortar world here, I stand, with the dog, atop the highest mound and look, to my right, at St Michael’s Tower bathing in brightness. Up here, the Tor is ever-present, though sometimes shrouded in dense sarcophagi of mist, the hieroglyphs on the psychic walls wavering and uncertain, their message hard to decipher.


Last night, I ventured down to the town centre – and sipped at the nectar from music’s grail, something I love to do and am parched without. Hawthorns was my destination, its Tuesday night Open Mic my little gift of curiosity and discovery to myself.

It was wonderful, took me right back to university in West Wales in the seventies – and, indeed, for anyone who has ever been a student in Aberystwyth, there is a curious connection between Avalon and that most magical corner of the Principality.

I think we sometimes get drawn to the wild places, the raw edges, the landscapes in which the veil between this world and others is thin and crackling with other life. I think we sense a need, an imperative, which is stronger than logic, than paltry financial considerations, than the open wound of tearing ourselves away from the known and comfortable and suspending ourselves upon a metaphorical jagged rock overhanging a voracious and savage sea.

Yes, I am sad. Blood still gushes from the parting cut. My muscles, so stupidly stubborn and unwilling to ask for help, over-reach themselves and throb painfully. Tears rise and fall, even as smiles of joy and wonder bathe my face.

I contact friends here, and begin to smile at those I do not know. I am befriended on Facebook (which is lovely) and am warmed by the generosity of other people.

I am, and have long been, a landscape writer, very much tuned into the song of the land (called, in one of my books, The Lyre of Logres) and the strong connection between the egregore of its people and its mystical deep breathing life. I thrill to the earth, and its hum resonates within my finite bones, for they will, in time, become a part of the whole and will undulate along with the vast body of this planet.

The colourful feathers in my hair, twined in by elfin hands at the Frost Fayre, have long fallen out and now adorn the cork board in my kitchen – but I love the image of myself so adorned because it seems to represent much of the self now beginning to stretch and yawn and emerge, bleary-eyed, from the bed of captivity into freedom’s sunrise.




9 thoughts on “Aesthetic Sunrise over the Tor: Landscape and People

  1. So beautifully put, it brought tears to my eyes. It is easy to forget or ignore these feelings when life gangs up on you, and you reminded me that it is still a part of my life, whether I notice it every day or not.
    Thanks Ali…

    Liked by 2 people

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