We’d left James and Lucy’s lovely cottage up there in Glaisdale tucked away snug in the North Yorkshire moors, it was way past Orsi’s watershed time of 10pm and we’d planned to drive back to Whitby about an hour away. It had been lovely evening with them, we left glowing and feeling loved. We walked back down the road to Pearl who we’d left parked on the bend at the bottom of the narrow silent high street trying to be inconspicuous under a huge tree.
Orsi was dragging her feet and said “Do we have to go back to Whitby, can we not just find a nice pub on the way and park up for the night”
“Done deal” I said.
So we drove four miles to Lealhome put Pearl into 2nd gear and crept with a low rumble through the enchanted place looking for a parking place. We’d noted the “Board Inn” pub on the whispering river Esk and opposite a quiet public car park with public loo’s hidden away there as well.
“There she blows” I said
The pub was so quiet we hardly dared speak but the landlady was open and warm and later we spent the night tucked away behind the public loo’s surprisingly well hidden and after a little maneuvering in the middle of the night managed to find an almost a flat parking space. I’d had to get up and move her as I still haven’t managed to be able to sleep on a slope.
Next day we stepped out of her sliding door, both of us happy and silly, sunshine and songbirds seemed to have gathered and crowded in in the branches above us their sound and light instantly amplified rushed into pearls interior, we both blinked standing startled for a few moments, just letting the senses absorb the outside making its way inwards.
I’d had a dream that we were twisting some cords, they were long and thick, I remember I’d been enjoying the dream. We’d twisted the cords tighter and tighter as if squeezing all moisture out of the material. We’d been stood under the arches of a railway viaduct, I’d looked down to my left and there in the mud at the bottom of the arches was a small pile of scattered golden coins. I recall bending down to pick them up and being very happy.
We’d gone back across to the pub after some breakfast to sit and do a bit of work. I told Orsi, I was puzzled about the twisting of the cloth,
She said “It could mean, strength, like how they make rope”
Of course, that felt right the two of us getting stronger, blending.
The pub that morning was cozy and peaceful, the girl on the bar would vanish and only reappear when she heard the shuffling of feet and the one or two other people in there would glance up nervously now and again not really knowing what to say to one another. People whispered not conspiratorially, just seemed nobody wanted to disturb the air.
I had been searching for railway Viaducts on the Yorkshire moors, I loved the way they just slotted into the countryside. We’d decided to move on that day and see where we got too but first we needed air for a slow puncture in the front left tire. I was a little worried about it and it would need to be sorted before the motorway.
I called across to the garage that was also the post office on a little rise just past the old St James church. Apart from the newsagent that served as the corner shop and the pub it was the only outlet in the village. I couldn’t see anybody on or around the forecourt so I’d gone into the post office, there was a little quiet queue so I’d tried to ask very politely from the back if they had an air pump, the lady glanced up looking very flustered and said
“You’ll have to wait your turn”
I politely almost in a whisper said “But do you have one?’
She shot me a fretful look “Yes we have one”
“Good” I said “I’ll go and get the van”
A few minutes later I rolled Pearl up the onto their driveway she felt like an enormous ship edging slowly into a tiny port, the still air of the whole village seemed vibrate as I put my foot on the gas peddle as pearl in first, strained to get up the steep narrow slope. There was a young guy stood there now who seemed to be expecting me, he guided me in and then began pulling an air machine out of the little tidy garage with its neat double doors. The whole thing felt like I’d driven back in time and in fact the settlement of Lealhome can be traced back to the doomsday book in 1086 and probably before that, there was something special about the place, it had retained something.
I jumped out and he asked me what pressure the tires were, I’d said 54 and he just got straight on with it. I showed him the tire with the slow puncture. He took a closer look and pointed out a nail embedded in there I hadn’t seen. We talked about changing over the spare and he didn’t need to be asked just slid underneath and put air into that as well.
Then a most remarkable thing, he slipped out from underneath Pearl reached into his pocket pulled out a little plastic cap that go over the air valves on the tire. Slipped back underneath and screwed it onto the spare. He didn’t have to do it. It was just a bit of love and care and good will. I was really touched.
I noted it, I said “What do I owe you mate.”
He said “I suppose… nothing”
I thanked him, shook his hand warmly and said
“I will stop and swap over the tire a little later today”
I didn’t fancy a motorway drive with a nail in the tire, that wouldn’t be wise.
He said “There’s a garage up the hill next to the railways station they might be able to help you”
It jangled some ancient bell in the depths of my mind. I thanked him again. Said to Orsi lets go and get the tire sorted, we can leave Pearl go for a walk, come back for her later and stay another night here. We are right in the heart of the moors. Its beautiful, the locals are friendly and the pub is lovely
The garage was also a lovely place too, a lady who seemed to be in charge came out of a portacabin as we entered the yard her two black dogs rushing ahead of her barking,
“Good boys” I said “Well done
“They are” she said proudly
I patted and played with them affectionately and they calmed right down. She seemed to be warmed by my response to the dogs and directed us with a broad smile across to the gleaming forecourt , into the sparkling clean garage, a young dark haired good looking guy called Michael who must have been early 20’s said the tire was no problem to come back around 5pm and it should be done
“It all depended though” he said “on where the nail had gone into the tire, if it had gone straight into the underneath, on the flat, it could be patched up., if it had gone in on the edge that would mean a new tire.
If it turned out to be a patch it would be £15
“Done deal” I said
We both liked Michael, there was something beautiful open and unspoiled about all these people here.
We stepped off the road and walked off up into the moors and hills just wandering to where ever the fancy took us. As we got higher we looked back across the valleys towards Glaisdale noting now its finer points, following the contours, sinking into the woods and absorbing the detail of the beautiful lush green environment. I noted the railway line and to my great delight a viaduct bridge about a mile away, though small it was just as I’d seen in my dream. Then it all came clear ‘This’ was the gold
We had been getting closer again these last few festivals, working better now as a team, acknowledging each other and just enjoying one another’s company again. Orsi had begun to calm down internally and just get used to the idea we were at sea and that there would be safe harbours all along the way. It was a lovely few hours just wandering across, through and over the neat and tidy landscape it was a place that was and had, as I saw it, been loved for a long time, when you slowed up and allowed your eye to settle, it seemed obvious.
There were so many beautiful sights sounds and subtle moments, creatures, the brooks, woods, flowers, birds, fluffy clouds , cropped hills and of course the energies out there that are always a surprise and I should be used to it by now. At one point we came across a brook flowing out of a stonewall right out there hidden under some ancient twisted hawthorns and ran away into the land hidden until you were on top of it. My hands went off, as I call it, almost bursting and my ears began to ring clearly there was something special there, it was such a strong feeling I called Orsi down. She felt it too. In my minds eye I asked who it was, I didn’t hear words but the pitch of the ringing went up. I am always wanting something to speak my language but I am realizing its perhaps time I begun to try and understand another
We stood for a while but then moved on alerted now to all that was around us, and I think we just slowed right up from then on circling the village a few miles out. As we were orbiting back into Lealhome we came upon the old ‘Society of Friends’ graveyard there on the outskirts of town dated 1871.
The society would later become the Quakers whose roots began in Lancashire in the 1700’s. Local people in these perhaps remote villages of the time would put a small amount of money into somebody’s hands for safe keeping and this would go towards solving local community problems, burials for instance, way before insurance companies that we have come to know and probably a lot easier to deal with.
As I thought about the general helpfulness of the people we’d come across during the time there I wondered if a little vein of the Quaker spirit or ideals were still running through the place, hidden like the brook we had seen earlier, unseen until you were close up to it and when felt it was quite a surprising. It wasn’t that everyone was over the top happy and skippy They said hello, morning, thank you, welcomed you and it seemed genuine they weren’t trying to be your best friend or talking about the weather, they were just assisting you along your road if needed. I had been very touched the simple almost unnoticed gesture of the guy at the post office garage, so we bought him a cake before we left and left it with the lady there.
Later we went into St James church there on the hill with its Celtic cross War Memorial just above the village crossroads on the road to the old bridge. We sat down quietly inside and opened up. I went straight into a seeing. It was most odd. I heard the ringing clearly, my hands buzzed. I asked in my minds eye, “who is it?” Again nobody answered directly but I had a feeling it was my Mum or Dad. Then an image came to mind. I was looking up from the back right hand side towards a public park bench made out of wrought iron. There was somebody sat there but I couldn’t quite see who. Then a right hand appeared, the hand was open, palm upwards arm resting on the arm of the bench, sort of cavalier and nonchalant, casual and relaxed. My focus moved in onto the hand. It was a skeletal hand. For a split second I thought, ‘It’s death’ then the pointer finger began beckoning to me, playfully. My focus zoned in on the boney fingers, it was very playful.
I remember laughingly saying “No way, get out of here”
I had the distinct feeling that who ever the hand belonged too was laughing too, not some maniacal crazy laugh. But heart felt warm laughter at my response. The vision dispersed and I then saw a gate open and a path leading onward into and through a pine forest, pine forests are always silent places, they have a sort of weight and stillness in them when we came back, that is the feeling that I brought with me. Peaaceful.
Later we went to sit back in the quiet pub, we talked about James and Lucy and what had led us to here.
We had arrived in Whitby, after our initial clash about my writing time, we’d agreed that time out on our own was perhaps a good thing now and again. Oris had gone for a walk through the streets whilst I got down to the serious and weighty business of being a wordsmith, bard and storyteller, which on this journey has really taken it out of me. It has felt like a weight at times, the weight of something needing to be expressed and if you don’t have that need or desire, I suppose it is a hard thing to understand.
Orsi had come back later that day with the news that there was a shop in town that was selling things from a live in community called Botton Village a roughly based on ideas and the spiritual philosophy of Rudolph Steiner, some of our friends had lived in a related organization in Ireland. It didn’t really register right at that moment because as I say, I was deeply involved with the gods right then. But the next day Orsi mentioned it again as we’d walked through the streets of old Whitby and we happened to pass by the shop, called ‘The Dispensary’ on skinner street Orsi had pointed it out. To be honest I was trying to pull away. But Orsi gently and insistent, went in, so I followed.
As I entered I immediately saw a quote by Wilheim Reich above the herbal tea section
“Love work and Knowledge are the wellsprings of our lives”
It’s what we had been talking about the night before up there on the cliffs above whitby pavilion, we are not trying to escape work, we are looking for work, we want to work, we don’t want to escape our time, our era and our opportunities with this life, we want to do something, But dropping what we had done before, the safety net of London life and careers, freefalling with no real map was quite unnerving.
Then a Rudolf Steiner quote above the organic jams
“Feelings are for the soul what food is for the body”
What I have been thinking and working on, in regard to all the Hypnotherapy and Healing sessions. I think I actually laughed out loud, not out of rudeness but because it was just so unexpected, a light bulb moment. I turned and saw a tall man with a beautiful open face, silver grey hair looking at me. There was such sensitivity in the face
I said “That is the first time I have ever seen a Wilhelim Reich quote in a whole food shop”
“Really” he said quizzically. It was like a damn opening. I’d had my hat on that morning too, I’d been up all night writing illuminated by the mid summer solstice full moon and perhaps feeling its pull watching its rise and fall, I’d then seen the summer sun rise from out of the north sea, it hadn’t dawned on me what day it was until it was. I’d gone back to bed in daylight, always something delicious about doing that and had slept in a little later that morning. I’d woken feeling happy, wide and open, it was a wide beautiful hat kind of a day and I just happened to have one, so on it went.
The man turned out to be James Fearnley a bright, warm generous man, that I have to say after a few minutes we loved very much. Some people are like that aren’t they, just seemed to be that kind of person, people just did, whilst we talked that morning people were coming in and out of the shop and James introduced everybody to everybody, a feeling of warmth radiated from him. Turned out he was a great reader and follower of Wilhelm Reich and in fact right there in the shop he had a full library of original books not only by Reich but also Rudolf Steiner and to my eyes it was all quite remarkable and I was just in the mood for it. Funny how these things work isn’t it, timing.
I told him the story of when I went to seek out James De Mayo in Oregon (a student of Reich who had written on and built orgone accumulators) about the Orgone accumulator and my loss of cohesion. It was funny on retrospect but at the time it was excruciatingly embarrassing. Wilheim Reich had ‘discovered’ or more correctly named in western terms, energy or life force and called it ‘Orgone energy’ the same energy the ancients have called chi, Prana, for millennia. Reich had proved its existence scientifically. The very same stuff that makes my hands buzz, there is more about Wilheim Reich, but that was my point of entry into the subject if you like.
James invited us to for tea of coffee and within minutes we were talking Sufism, Gudjev, the Rosicrucian’s, the troubadours, Rudolf Steiner, herbal medicine, and the chaos theory. It wasn’t just a light bulb coming on it was the whole lighting rig on and to boot James was really funny and made great coffee.
People were coming in and out of the shop all the time, most knew James, he had something for everybody who walked through the door, he didn’t skip a beat, James it turned out is all about community, where ever and how ever that appears, in his shop and in his life it seems, and even his business with the bees.
James is the founder of BeeVital, and founded the company in the early 90’s and has been involved in natural medicine since the early 1970’s specialising in bee products and is the person responsible for the renaissance of interest in propolis as a modern day medicine
It turned out, we found out much later, he’d initiated the first international standard for propolis and was one of the first people in the UK to commission serious scientific studies into propolis, is recognised worldwide as an authority in the field and is the pioneering author of the book Bee Propolis – Natural Healing from the Hive.
We had no idea about all of this until weeks later, we just liked James, there and then on the spot we took him as he was and he seemed to take us . As we were talking a lady called Karen came into the shop and heard the conversation, and what Orsi and I were doing, and just told us there and then about various festivals that were happening around the area and people we should connect with. It was her who gave us the phone number for Chris and Emma over at Glaisdale and the festival they called Glaisdonbury. I think we were all just looking at one another, it just seemed it was all so fast looking back, we all got it and we all said yes to everything, that timing again.
We could have stayed there all day, but there was a steady stream of customers so we tore ourselves away and said we’d call back next day. I got busy with the contacts Karen had given us and followed up the leads.
We’d called back the next day and met james partner Lucy who was just a beautiful a bowl of loveliness. They were bright and funny and gave people their attention in a way that the person they focused on felt it and so responded and opened and we certainly did. We had of course told them what we were doing and so James had accepted my offer of some healing, so Orsi and Lucy looked after the shop whilst James and I went to sit in a side room.
It was an interesting session James was generous open and honest, trusted that we were authentic and were what we said, considering what we learned about them later it’s remarkable that we were sat there in a little back room in Whitby. Energy flowed and James allowed himself to drift down. Some people you just want to give too don’t you, it comes from them of course, I realized as we got to know them a little that they were always giving, walking their talk and so it flows back doesn’t it. There was a little more to do but we were heading off to Manchester to the Buckle and Boots Country festival the next day.
We were both lit up by and with Whitby things seemed to have shifted we had both noticed it. We wanted to come back
The place seems to have something, we’d had the whole of the UK to go and see, but Whitby had popped into my mind and we’d followed it and as it turned out over the next few days we were accepted and invited to work at Glaisdale and Staxton festivals there in North Yorkshire the following week
So we’d arrived back and given James a call, it just so happened he needed somebody to watch shop whist he went for a meeting over at Botton Village and who better but Orsi. I am always charmed by her when she is given a task, always on the look out for ways to improve efficiency, positive, straight in there super efficient, super girl Orsi Balla.
Botton Village James had said was a Jewel of how people could live in community. It was a place designed to offer opportunities for people with learning disabilities and other special needs. Is home to around 230 people 100 of which have learning disabilities. It is a living village, everyone there using their abilities to benefit the community. It is a little too much for me to write about here, but based on Steiner ideas and philosophy, was a glowing success for all those lucky enough to live there, an exercise not only in common sense, community, love and all those high ideals but simply of living breathing compassion and community. Everyone gained it seemed, but from what we heard there was change in the air and nobody was liking the new regime, governmental tentacles turning tables over when as always it seemed there was no need.
That morning Orsi minded the shop locked up and left the keys safely at the end of the day whilst I went off to sit all day in a coffee bar and get down to some work too. We had a lovely few days there walking along magnificent coast line, swimming in the sea and walking the lanes absorbing the atmosphere of the wonderful place, finishing a few jobs on Pearl and of course catching up with the laundry.
James had suggested a visit Botton village open day after the Glaisdale and Staxton festivals to meet and just to see what had been created there, it had to be honest, been a little above my head right then until we visited and saw it , I’d thought of Ghost Ranch, but this was a little deeper, I have supposed that is another reason I enjoy writing so much, it gives me a chance to slow the engines and think about and fully comprehend the places and people we have met. Botton village was and is a remarkable place
We’d been really surprised and had searched high and low for James and Lucy but had not been able to find them and there is very poor mobile reception out there in the dips troughs and valleys of the moors, so we’d wandered through the beautiful place eating and sampling the wonderful things produced there, the two of us just having a laugh, I even got to shear a sheep. I’d very nearly given up on them and driven on that day but once last try as we drove out of Botton and finally managed a contact and so later that afternoon we rolled back into Glaisdale village, James seemed to be a little bruised and battered
They were glad to see us and us and we them. Their little cottage hidden around
the back of the steep main street at Glaisdale over looking countryside most of us only dream about. Lucy had cooked some delicious pasta and we sat warm and cozy talking for the next few hours, they were great hosts and Lucy it turns out is a pretty successful screenwriter and was expecting good news about a book/play about my friends the Crows.
I offered James another session that evening, this time he really went there. It is the way it is sometimes, people just need to get used to it, going a little deeper with each session, it was good to have a chance of a follow up. I saw the dog shall we say, and James quieted him, took charge and it obeyed. It was a very strong session and it felt good to give something back, earn our dinner so to speak whilst Orsi & Lucy warmed the front room.
We were glad we’d been able to hook up and get some quality time with them and as we left that evening we weren’t sure when we’d get back but we are considering the autumn or winter there, we shall see. As we said when we set off we are looking for a place to eventually settle and open our own healing place and we have really loved this area and the people we met there, we shall see. We’d walked away that evening glowing
That next evening after the tire had been fixed we’d been sat in the Board Inn there at Lealhome, it had seemed just a little too quiet for us that night. There were one or two people sat quietly and at any moment I was expecting one of them to start quaking. So we whispered to each other ‘Lets go and get some fresh air’ We’d gone for a little walk but as is our way once we started walking we ended up doing a good 5 or 6 miles as the daylight waned and the skies turned purple walking leisurely through the winding beautiful lanes to the village of Fryup and Loudsyke. talking and chatting and being silly all the way around and back to Pearl. We couldn’t help noticing the hundreds or rabbits that had emerged all across the land as we’d walked, we wondered where the foxes where and come to that the deer? We never saw any, but rabbits, we saw hundreds. I had my thoughts but maybe I’ve lived in the city too long and i’d noted the stuffed heads and hunt pictures in the pub too.
It had been good to talk and the walk was good, always sets the cogs of conversation turning I find, we never batted an eye lid really at the miles, energy to spare surfing on the wave of good will and good work done, through that remarkable place. As we walked along the peaceful lanes that night the mist rising off the woods,
I said Orsi “This is the gold”
Sounds lovely. I would love to visit one day. I studied Rudolph Steiner-Waldorf and the philosophy around it.