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I live in Australia, my ancestry is in Cornwall. a Celt. a hedgewitch of sorts. I am an Earth Healer. I wear upcycled clothes, patchouli oil and Redback boots. A gypsy. An eccentric. a mystic. I am a searcher, a seeker, a pilgrim on Earth. I serve my guests, tea from an old silver teapot. I love Vervain, yarrow, chamomile & mint. I love to dream, to walk and to wonder

Saturday, December 22, 2012

winter solstice - Mevagissey

Winter Solstice dawned, sunny. well, sunny in Cornwall's standards.. the crisp blue sky peeked from behind light cloud cover.. looking across the fields, I could see smoke from a chimney. Trees were dripping with droplets of  water from overnight rain, creating an almost chandelier effect. .. I noticed lichen covered trees.. and I saw Cornwall.. the one of my dreams. a winter solstice gift from my ancestors... as the day progressed, the cloud cover did as well..

we decided to take a drive to Mevagissey - a village that is on my family tree. a seaside village with connections to pirates and witches.. sounds perfect to me!

as we drove in to the village, we saw the church and found some free parking! after a walk around the graves in the church grounds,

[and actually finding a gravestone with the name 'Ball' inscribed, which was a name on my tree from centuries ago, so I am quite sure these were ancestors of some kind...]

we made our way down the hill - past traditional Cornish cottages. In all their glory.



for some reason the white house on the right [above], called to me.. I cannot explain, except I do believe this house holds ancestral ties.. i will never know of course..




to find somewhere to have morning tea


.. it was so nice to sit in a little cafe in Mevagissey. a place where some of my long ago ancestors once lived - to see a gorgeous vibrant village that still had an original feel to it. To know that yes, my ancestors had lived and worked here..it may have changed, quite abit... but it was still a lovely village

I sat and ate Saffron Cake [which is exactly like raisin toast but is flavoured with saffron] and looked out the window..

 and felt like this village had been saved for this day, for me to discover.. and love.. "after I had pretty much hit rock bottom, yesterday.. the ancestors have allowed me to see that Cornwall is not my home .. but have now shown me that it still has its charm in places. all is not lost.  It was like a reward. A Yule tide gift.. a return of my own inner light and joy...."  - I felt like I belonged here, like I had been here before, like the village was welcoming me. Like I was a local, really.

then we walked around the narrow roads,




up the hill past the small sheltered harbour.



Often having to duck into door ways to allow cars to park.. there were not many footpaths here!

down along the pier where many fishing boats were moored for winter...



 up and down the tiniest laneways,




[here, I am stopping to chat with a lady who was sitting in her doorway.. with her black cat Ralph.. we have seen many black cats since arriving in Cornwall.. I think so far 5.. and 4 of them have run in front of our car... bad luck some may say... but not to a witch]


between houses that all seemed to be built upon each other.


at one time ending up in someones garden [ he came out to see what we were doing, and we ended up chatting with him for awhile]


 then for lunch..


we decided to go to an old pub which the man with the garden had recommended ... we had cod and chip [must say that the fish here is no where as tasty as our fish from home]... then Joe discovered a witches shop.. and I bought myself a witch to hang in my home..

then a cup of tea before heading back up the hill to the car. It seems all we do is eat!!




 I went into the church yard again and found the door open..


I was invited in by the church ladies who were decorating for Christmas.. one was very friendly, the other gruff.. but they both invited me back to Christmas carols.. at 4pm on Sunday..would love to see you they said..

as I walked from the church, I went back to visit my ancestors grave and took a closer picture so that I might see some of the writing


and on closer inspection, I saw a gift


an angel, on the headstone, carved into it, naively - a gift from my ancestors!!... and I heard a voice say to me

'enjoy the rest of your time in Cornwall... you have come to our home which is no longer yours.. we have planted the seeds of you, for you and we can rest and are happy with what we see'
[as crazy as that may sound, I heard these words, whispered to me in that graveyard] - I honestly felt more peace and settling come over me at that moment..

---> back home to pack for our next part of our journey.. to Fowey ~ dinner at the Polgooth Pub.. where many were having a Christmas drink with friends.. and i think we both felt a little lost..

JOURNAL:
and I know for certain that this time of year is meant to be spent with family and friends.. and having christmas drinks on decks.. it is meant for me to be at home, wrapping gifts and visiting.. and it has taken this trip for me to realize that... Joe and I had a drink and laughed about things together.. and kept telling each other that the rest of the trip will go fast and once again we will be traipsing through airports with vast amounts of luggage.. but this time it will be us returning home. home for both of us.

so, all in all.. a nice day, discovering some more ancestors, seeing where they lived and just sightseeing.. Mevagissey.. a place that resonated with me.. like a home.. not the gut wrenching connection i had at the Abbey in Glastonbury, nor the deep emotional connection that i felt at Perranuthunoe.. but a nice, settling belonging.. one of comfort [and joy]..

SATURDAY 22
it rained all last night and looking out the window, it seems as if we may have had at least 6ins of rain overnight. Haven't heard the news for flood warnings today... off to Fowey for Christmas.

7 comments:

  1. what a lovely surprise for you on the headstone, the cottages look just beautiful, not sure that I could live in such close proximity to your neighbour but I guess you get used to that, a lovely post.

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  2. I have a feeling that you are in exactly the right place and at the right time, organised by your ancestors. had you gone at any other time it may have been the wrong time, I can see that now.

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  3. I'm glad you had such a lovely Winter Solstice day! I think I read somewhere that in England (unlike the rest of the world), black cats are considered to be Good Luck. Maybe that's why there are so many of them about?

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  4. This made such interesting reading Robyn. The photos are wonderful. I am still amazed by the tiny footpaths and windows at arms length from traffic!
    Such a variety of photos you've featured here,-your experiences are much appreciated by me as I feel ancestral pressures(?) in a good way also, and I feel we are paying our dues when we make these trips.
    I think genealogists are also "chosen" for a very important job - your beacon I'm sure is finely tuned!!
    How wonderful that you have made this trip and seen so much, and taken the time to listen also. It must be lovely sitting in the churches.

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  5. Yes black cat's are considered good luck here in England... I am also pleased that your ancestors guided you and especially at winter solstice,christmas is difficult away from home...but i hope you enjoy the rest of your journey.

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  6. Debra is right, we do consider black cats to be lucky in the UK. In fact brides used to be given black velvet covered cardboard ones to carry as they left the church after the wedding, along with silver horseshoes. It was also considered good luck to invite a chimney sweep to your wedding, preferably one covered in soot.
    You seem to feel 'connected' with Mevagissey, I love the harbour there.
    Finally, maybe we are related, as we have the name Ball in our family tree too. Though to my knowledge they were not from Cornwall. We could be distant cousins!

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