How well I remember Portmerion, and with such sweetness. Graham, my
husband, and I took our younger son and his friend there for a holiday there one
autumn. (Our older son by then liked the house to himself as he played piano some
ten hours a day with all the extremity and energy of youth)
James, our younger son would have been nine or ten. We wandered around the
village in a soft mist of rain that came and went in between sunshine and somehow
added enchantment to an already magical day.
I could not walk far, so I sat with my usual Steiner book, but unread, as the boys
ran around the near deserted place and I absorbed the special atmosphere.
Later we drove to a beach, again deserted and again the book lay on my lap for
hours as I sat absorbed by the drama of sea and skyscape. The boys dug their holes,
built their castles, soaked one another as usual, and we adults drank it all in, and
looked at shells and seaweed..
Your latest Heather post was on the ball as ever. You should write a book about
her. It should all be saved and passed on.
In a pot near the back door I have a self-sown, elf-sown nettle, which comes up
every year, and which I love dearly. Sometimes I give it my arm to sting. My garden
is too small to grow patches of nettles, dearly as I would love to. I have an agreement
with the elementals that each plant has one specimen, or a small clump and then I
can take them out of other areas to give other plants a chance. This seems to work
I do eat plenty of nuts, but it is difficult to get them fresh. Which brings me to the
heartbreaking tale of a beloved Walnut Tree. Walnuts came with the Romans, as you
probably know, highly valued as they are so nutritious: also they have brain clearing
qualities, and were eaten after drunken nights to dispel intoxication. I loved the
mature tree that leaned so generously over my fence from a neighbouring garden,
although I did not take any nuts because the squirrels loved them, sometimes
throwing them cheekily at our two (sadly passed away) black Scottish Terriers who
gargled frenziedly at them, jumping uselessly up and down on short legs.
It made a kind of polarity to my Oak tree: one with Jupiter curving leaves, open to
the skies, and the other, Jupiter curved brains enclosed in shells, brains become
vehicles for thought, whereas Ancient Oak is open to the lightning from the skies,
thoughts of gods,with Martian strength. I gleaned much from them both.
The neighbour is a woman who dislikes all forms of life, and especially trees.
Although the tree was at the end of a very long garden, and only I had the task of
clearing away it's fallen leaves, she decided that it was untidy and told me it was to
be chopped down, having the gall to ask if she could save money by taking the
branches through my side entrance to the lorry.
As this is a conservation area, I told her she could not do so, and got the local
council to put a protection order on the tree. Due to typical incompetence, this was
not issued in time and the tree fellers duly arrived. Even though I dragged the
councillor responsible out he could do nothing, and the order arrived a year after it
No longer did the tree catch the winter moon in it's branches for me, nor did my
bird friends perch among it's twigs to inspect the bird table and watch out for cats.
Nor did squirrels chase one another round and round it's grey-green trunk, their
claws making a sound like running water or test the first green fruits with sharp
As the tree fell I thought my heart would break. I sat, stony, too hurt to cry.
When I had collected myself somewhat, I prayed for the spirit of the tree, and invited
it to live in my soul until my death should free it to pass onward and upward. I am
not clairvoyant, and don't have visions. But on this occasion with unexpected inner
sight the tree appeared in glowing, colour, form and every detail as I had never seen
it, for a magical moment I will never forget.
The neighbour poured thick black poison onto the stump.
One log Graham stole from the lorry for me, and I am slowly carving the hard
wood into a candle holder, that it may hold the light again, as those pure green leaves
once held the light when the sun shone on them each spring morning. The wonderful
walnut oil in the sap will be lifted in flame and prayer to the Etheric Christ.
The squirrels, in their wisdom, had planted a walnut in another nearby garden,
which luckily is neglected and overgrown. It is now flourishing!
My sister's husband who is Chinese, gentle and loving to all life, but strong,
handsome and with a very fiery eye, solved a similar problem more simply. Again a
beloved tree, a Lime, was threatened. He found an old sword from somewhere and
stood before the tree, legs apart, eyes flashing, and said it would be an arm for a
branch. The tree is still standing, years later.