This is a the second half of a post about my first trip to Southern England. Photos courtesy of and © Eunjung Choi.
The UFO was bizarre. My first such sighting, it was a bright set of lights on the distant horizon – three of them. At first, Greg, Lynn and I thought it was a plane, but the lights just hung. And then they would make these bizarre random moves, including jumping backwards in the sky from point to point – a maneuver I was certain could not be executed with any known form of aircraft. They stayed for at least an hour, which is about when we got tired of watching them and moved on to a nearby grove of trees, drawn to their bare branches. “Let’s put our third eyes on them!” Lynn suggested, and though I felt very strange doing it, when that chakra spot between my eyebrows connected with the cool tree trunk, it felt so peaceful and powerful. I stayed that way, despite the cold night air, for several minutes.
When Greg and Lynn finished their tree communing, they were both practically crowing. Kaleidoscopic images had danced through their visions – lively swirls of geometry as if the trees were communicating in images. I wished I had such an experience, but as is often the case with me, I am very much of this world, which makes me both more skeptical and more likely to trust something (like the UFO sighting) if I can see it for myself.
Our long night’s journey reluctantly ended two hours’ later, back at the B&B. The next morning we caught the last part of breakfast before setting out to spend the day in Glastonbury, first at the Chalice Well and then the famous Glastonbury Tor. In town, the little shops were all buzzing. “Did you see the UFO last night?” they all asked us as we walked through town. Surprised to have our sighting confirmed so readily and openly, we nodded, pleased to bond with the locals over something so extraordinary.
At the Chalice Well, long known for its healing waters, we sat by the same well that Joseph of Aramathea was reputed to have drunk from, and admired the gorgeous wrought iron of the well cover. A beautiful, peaceful location, it was hard to leave but we were off to climb Glastonbury Tor. Though we had other plans afterwards, involving lunch and another sacred site, we woefully underestimated the hill with its ruined chapel atop and its panoramic views, which took us over an hour to reach from the well. We pondered turning back, concerned for our time, but the tug of our hearts was too strong.
Like so many of the power spots in the ancient world, plastered over by the usurping religion, the tor had churches built right on top of its sacred origins, the last of which was the still-remaining St. Michael’s Tower, which dates from medieval times. Long connected with the Arthurian legends, Glastonbury Tor is possibly even the Isle of Avalon, due to the low-seated rolling fog that makes it seem as if the Tor is an island rising from the mists. The terracing – 7 rings that lead to the top – are possibly a form of labyrinth, and indeed, it is an exercise in both leg muscles and mindfulness. We walked slowly and carefully, each step a meditation as it is in a labyrinth walk. Our rewards at the top, along with the brilliant clarity afforded by the experience, included a stunning view and wind so strong that we stood at a 45º angle into it, laughing like kids at the strength of nature.
By the time we got back to town, we were running so late we had no time to do anything but grab our bags and jump into our rental car. Unfortunately, less than five minutes on the road and we were stuck behind a large truck, the English countryside equivalent of Monday’s rush hour. The lorry wasn’t even doing the low speed limit, and we chafed behind him, the moments ticking by and the thought of the last train leaving without us looming larger in our minds. I consulted our paper map, the unmarked squiggles hopeless. I closed my eyes, breathing deeply, asking once again for the guidance that had served us so well this weekend. Opening my eyes, I saw the lorry pass a small side road. “Turn here,” I shouted, and luckily Greg’s reflexes were good and he was able to make the sharp right.
Head down over my map, I could make out where I thought – let’s face it, hoped – the road would come out. If I was right… I held my breath for the next ten minutes, it seemed, as Greg jounced us along the narrow winding stretch until the road came to a T. “Right – right,” I pointed and just as he made the corner, I could see the little Wells train depot, the train already pulling into the station. We squealed into the car park and there was our trusty pal from the rental agency, waiting to pick up the vehicle. Grabbing the luggage out of the boot, with a hurried thanks we tossed the keys to the rental agent and jumped onto the waiting train.
A minute later, just as we were settling into our seats, the train chugged out of the station. I waved at the sweet agent on the platform who had waited to see us off on our final leg of the journey, and reflected that he had saved us one last time by meeting us at the train station and not at the rental agency, another small miracle that I had not quite been aware of until after we were safely on our way to London. For two days, we had been guided and led, every step unfolding, built on the one in its wake until the perfect journey was complete. This was what it was like to trust, to surrender to what WAS and not what I was hoping for. It was not the trip I was expecting, but it was the one I needed to take. This was a gift that I could bring forward with me into the future, learning to be guided in all ways.