The Braided River

13. Return to the Shydi (mythic fragment)

RETURN TO THE SHYDI …The bear that dwelled beneath the shydi was alert to my homecoming. Perhaps she had been emerging from her winter slumber for a while, for the appearance of the shrine was greatly changed. The grove of birch was circled now by many strings from which hung an extraordinary mass of rags […]

11. Her Remembering Heart (mythic fragment)

HER REMEMBERING HEART Let us step briefly into this fragment of tale again; there are more threads to gather here… … My fingers began to recognise the different barks of oak and beech and willow, of hazel and ash and alder. Holly was obvious of course; I slid my hand between the waxy leaves to […]

25. This Sanctuary Of Islands (mythic fragment)

THIS SANCTUARY OF ISLANDS Know well, said the island weaver, that while we have wept and borne witness, we have also worked ceaselessly to create and protect this sanctuary. Understand, she explained, that over and again we crafted small round boats from oiled hides and bent staves of wood, coracles of morning light, ancient kuruko […]

32. The Shrine Of Stags (mythic fragment)

THE SHRINE OF STAGS … A clearing opened up in front of me, sparsely illuminated by a half-light that filtered through the web of coniferous boughs. The rim of the clearing was piled with a mass of broken branch and shattered timber. As if a fight had taken place. As if the forest had been […]

29. Ghost Of The Dancing Ground (mythic fragment)

GHOST OF THE DANCING GROUND …The dancing ground had evidently not been used for many years but the skeleton of its original form was clearly laid out on the earth beneath the massive boughs of a great beech tree. Smoothed stone cobbles marked its edge. They had obviously once been set in a broad hoop […]

8. Where the Shydi Stands (mythic fragment)

WHERE THE SHYDI STANDS …We all start walking from where the shydi stands. We may not have a shape on which to hang that word or even know it by that name, but each one of us has a place inside the wild memory of the land that is sacred, secret and entirely ours. The […]