Surrounding the wall, stubby ash and elephantine coils of Cherry Laurel gave a writhing border to the site, which, just for a moment, became an abandoned sacred grove. For some reason – the unnatural quiet perhaps – the spot felt like a Celtic ‘Thin Place’, or more accurately a broken thin place, as here it seemed, any doorway to the eternal world had been blocked by litter and forgotten.
A mysterious letter. A secret journal. An ancient wood, in borderland territory. Deceptive paths and strange, ghostlike figures, stirring at the edge of the trees. These were some of the elements that quickly took hold and drew me into Ryhope Wood, when I first read about it aged 15.
Recently I re-read it, rediscovered and found many new things to treasure.
Magpie Tales blog invited people to submit a poem or vignette based on this picture. She’ll get you in the end, Stretched out and unaware, Or watchfully expectant, She’ll come, she always does. Unable to resist, you’ll slip Down gradually, gratefully, Allowing sky blue water To do its work. Hag-like at times, she crouches, Opening…