Jenny Browns’ Point, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire
As I walked the Lancashire Coastal Path along Morecambe Bay I came to a place that seemed to be the perfect balance of elemental features. A conglomeration of rocks at the foot of a wooded bank and those overlooking a similar number of rocks, but with their bases in the water. Even that water, I imagined to be a balance, of fresh from the rains and salt, from the bay and sea nearby.
I ensured I was warm, out of the stiffening breeze and would not be interrupted by other bodily needs! I started the guided journey recording. I guess my axis mundi I had found, just then, there. Perfect, that joining of the land and sea, trees above, mud, some without a bottom they say, below. Expanse beyond expanse of glacially deposited mud, daily reshaped by tides and rains.
For several minutes in to the guided journey I was still under this impression, the rather conscious awareness, on one level; ‘Okay I have done the basics, gone to the right place, sound of the drumming not too loud …. the other background sounds of nature, wind, gulls, blackbirds, sheep …. fading into me, in and out …. Then he was there, with me. ‘What, you? What are you doing here with me? Who should I have before me, in my innermost presence but a very old, giant tortoise, if not the one certainly a spirit facsimile of that nearly 200 hundred year reptilian dubbed ‘Jonathan’ from St. Helena Island and known to the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte, they say.
My half uttered, half evoked dialogue went something like; ‘Not a raven, not an eagle, blackbird, the snail that had featured before and in the crevices of nearby rocks. Not the turtle I painted at Alchemy Garden in southern France, not quite. Not a phoenix, but something nearly as fantastical … a giant tortoise, out of my consciousness for over 35 years, from another hemisphere, south, far south and before that, his kin, transported, they say by Darwin, from the Galapagos Islands, to St. Helena. A truly old soul!
It seemed then a rather meek halfhearted attempt of a question, ‘Are you really my power animal?’ I felt immediately reassured by, curiously, a non-verbal response. You know what – this was how it was going to be, for the present stage of this our re-acquaintance; an open, friendly, reassuring and very wrinkled eye, an eye of gentle assent. Had it been a pair of closed eyes I would have known ‘no’ and would have been led, slowly, on my onward quest for my power animal.
There is not much more to say, at this stage. The shamans’ drum playing did not run to a conclusion, that was fine, perfect. I bid farewell, for now, to my renewed acquaintance and the very gently present ‘library’ guardian, the one in the smart tan safari type jacket and trim haircut. Came up and even more bodily present, easily. Time to record the scene, walk along this unassuming stark transitional margin and hold these thoughts until I could get my external ‘shell’ warmed up at a cafe, tea and soup beckoning the body.
The rest of the day, after the cafe and writing this unique experience up was an exercise, in appreciation, of the mystery and revalation of nature too. What a blessing out of a little modest intention.