After I left Laura, the sudden intense rainstorm passed quickly and I was left with bright sunshine. I took a break in the bottom corner of a lush tall green grass meadow. As I lay out of the wind I looked up at the clouds above, they were racing at an incredible speed. The white puffy clouds were spread out across the sky so that half the total area was cloud and half bright blue sky.
Walking towards the Cotswolds, the steep hills formed a beautiful beckoning vista. It really made me feel I was getting somewhere, the geology was changing yet again.
Walking up a steep field, there were hills which converged in beautiful curves, with a large old tree halfway up, still without it’s leaves, like many others. I stood by the tree trying to imprint the beauty of the scene in my memory. Loud birdsong and breeze through branches were all I could hear. At the top of the hill I look back and can see the monument from yesterday. The one I thought I couldn’t reach, and there is was, impossibly far behind me already. The wind was phenomenal and I could barely stand. I didn’t linger but headed on to Stroud.
The energy company ecotricity began in Stroud, and water and hills are defining features of the town. It has grown around the confluence of two rivers, as well as having the canal.
Looking out from a vantage point on the hills surrounding Stroud there are very few buildings visible, a lot of trees and green meadows.
Walking through Stroud I see a lot of ‘Vote Green’ posters in people’s windows. Exhausted after the sun, wind and hills I made it to Alison’s house in Stroud where her friend Jane greeted me at the door, all gentleness and caring.
“What do you need?” the same question as Jaqueline. What a beautiful question to ask someone. I resolved to ask people that.
Jane tells me of many spiritual aspects, biodynamics and the connection with Mother Earth. When dinner is served the two ladies sing together a blessing, as a lovely lilting round, before we eat.
“For sun and rain, for grass and grain. For those who toil on sea and soil. That we may have our daily food, we give our thanks and love to god.”
With Alison we talk late into the evening of spiritual concepts, that I can’t take all in. I realise I would need to stay for a while and try to understand.
When we were all relaxed Jane bought out her sounding bowl.
Made from a rich coloured wood, it was larger than a fruit bowl with about nine strings across it. The sound was more resonating than a guitar, more like a harp. Grey hair tied back, with two broken fingers strapped up, Jane slowly plucked the strings. Her hand injuries were due to an unfortunate dog walking incident and combined with others, were the reason for her stay at Alisons whilst she recovered.