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Saturday, 22 June 2013


 Certain things became etched in my memory the afternoon we visited Saddell Abbey. They are emblazoned with vivid colour in a way that instantly transports me back to that particular hour.

The buttercups, growing with such abundance and bright profusion over the anonymous mounds and ancient graves, touched my toes as I stepped upon the hallowed earth. There was such a number of them that I could not help stepping on their yellow petals, as they held their faces to the sun; they didn’t seem to mind and sprung back easily after every step, with wiry verdant strength.

A giant spiders web caught the light in such a way that brought it so articulately to my vision, where it spanned the western arc of the ruined archway.

It was the way the old stone fell from the corner of the wall just then that brought my musings up short, and the moments prior to my shock became locked so brightly in my head. This seems strange because I was not looking then, but the event drew me in, this place was not forgotten and I retraced my steps to collect my camera.

Of all the things that might happen in a graveyard I was not expecting this, a trick of the light or an increase in the sigh of the wind perhaps. The stone dropping was such a definite thing and such a loud event to happen in a space of vagaries maybes.

I looked then wondering round with my camera seeking out angles and corners that might still hold a secret or two, some shadow that mat have been unseen through the years. I found myself once more between the ruined stones and graves and bones, listening for the past.

I felt it then; my muscle loosening to a long and languid state. My tension fell away, absorbed into the roots of the buttercups and daises, and translated into something else. Maybe I heard it too. I was reminded of a similar experience ages past and miles away when I felt a similar sensation in Keil graveyard at Southend.

"Nature in harmonious array knits the abbey together still slowing its decay."

Harmonies of an ancient chant rang from the notes of the Saddell water, they were bound within its flow, on a journey outside of time. They resounded  from the fronds of ferns, drawn from the stone in the shadows of the graves.

I slept at night with my window open hoping to catch a fragment of a note drifting on the summer twilight.
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