Unlike Thoreau, I could not be removed from the ruckus of civilization. No, I could escape for an hour or two at the most, taking advantage of an unexpected return of warm weather to spend some time in a tidal salt marsh. I write this to return to a place where the most regular sounds are the rustle and whisper of the dry reeds and grasses in the late afternoon breeze.

 

And then birds. Circling, the gulls cry. In this slant of light their white sides glow golden before they plunge out of sight to settle in a hidden channel of water flowing through the high grass of the meadows. Unseen, a sparrow chips at the afternoon.  A loud croak announces the presence of a nearby great blue heron, disturbed. Snow geese will winter here and add their… More…

The strangeness starts with the Steven King fog — or, more accurately, with the cackling scarecrow demons that live in the fog. To get to Glastonbury Tor in time for the summer solstice sunrise, I leave London at midnight. Halfway there I’m gazing at the swirling Hammer Horror-movie mist with childlike wonder. I allow myself to hallucinate scythe-wielding straw men racing alongside me, through the twisting and rolling, silvery moonlit high-hedged English West Country lanes. It is horribly easy. And the closer to Glastonbury I get, the easier it becomes.

 

Any half-educated rationalist with access to a search engine could tell you that Glastonbury’s reputation as the ley-line criss-crossed hub of some mysteriously immeasurable Earth power is as bogus as the stories of King Arthur or the “ancient” Wiccan religion and the hundreds of other mumbo-jumbled New Age… More…