Saturday, 1 June 2013

The sacred stone ceremony

Anna, one of my most treasured and regular swimming companions, is a district nurse and hears all sorts of stories about Dartmoor from her patients.  One old chap told her how, as a boy, he and his friends, when swimming in the Dart, used to like using boulders to sink themselves to the river bed.  The method: first you find a pleasing  boulder; then you stand, poised, with it clasped to your chest; you then bend forward and let it pull you down; finally you place the boulder on the bottom with a satisfying 'chink'.   This is something we've taken to doing, and without getting too "Totnes" about it, it feels rather special, like an offering to the river, or a prayer.  A few days ago I said goodbye to my beautiful mother for the last time, and so we went to the Dart where we all offered stones for her.

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