Stories of Place...

On Friday last, I and some dozen or so other companions left our homes to make what I would call our various pilgrimages to visit a farm called Wildways on the Borle near Bridgnorth in the rolling hills of Shropshire. There we had the rare privilege of spending the weekend in the company of one of Britain's finest Storytellers, Robin Willamson telling some of the oldest and most magical stories Britain has to offer.

We were gathered together by Philip Shallcrass of the British Druid Order for whom the stories of the Mabinogion have held a particular fascination for many years. Gaining insights from people who have made the unravelling of the mysteries held in these ancient, indigenous stories of ours a life's work was an experience that I shall reflect on for many years to come.

One of the many things I am still chewing over is the power of time and place that the stories have. I'm trying to describe that numenous quality that many perceive upon walking into an old church or a stone circle. These stories, many of the events from which have archaeological evidence supporting them and certainly place names that still exist have a similar quality - as if many travellers have walked these story-lines approaching the mystery of life for thousands of years.

I understand that these British Isles are a relatively recent development geologically speaking and that the peoples who populate it are and always have been immigrants of one sort or another, bringing their stories with them, but so many are lost and obscured by wars and lack of a teller to pass them on, so it is it is amazing to hear the tales that people will have heard in this land many generations before in a similar setting. It's also very encouraging to believe that if I do my job right as a Storyteller, they may still be doing so in a couple of thousand years.

I found the weekend spiritually enlightening, professionally instructive and personally fulfilling.

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