“It is strange how few people make more than a casual cult of enjoying Nature. And yet the earth is actually and literally the mother of us all. One needs no strange spiritual faith to worship the earth.”
John Cowper Powys, A Glastonbury Romance, published 1933
It is perhaps a truism that disparate faiths sit uneasily together in West Penwith, Cornwall. Evidence of its strong Christian tradition, both Celtic and later, can be seen everywhere in its wild landscapes and its settlements. The latter contains its Methodist heritage, reflecting the impassioned ministry of John and Charles Wesley who undertook journeys of 7 days duration from London to Cornwall on horseback to preach both in natural ampitheatres and selected chapels.
Sit with me here at Porthgwarra
let’s listen to the bell in the buoy
and notice the way whatever we hadn’t noticed
is coming to rest in a greeny-blue interval
between the strike of one sour sea-note and the next.
The photographs here and on the associated Gallery were taken over the Summer Solstice recently in West Penwith, Cornwall. The title of this blog post is taken from the Martha Tilston song Who Turns, found on her Lucy and the Wolves cd.
The song is a meditation on the meaning of life and everything, using the metaphor of moonlight to suggest that we are more than just hapless creatures on the treadmill of life. Martha suggests that we all have a freedom and glory to our existence we may not currently realise.
The song’s refrain summarises this struggle :
How long, how many more will come
How long before we get it right
Who turns the wheel,
Are we all moons reflecting light? (more…)