"AUTUMNAL GATHERING OF THE TRIBES"
You are yet again cordially invited to join us for the seventh
Peace In Nature Walk, entitled
"AUTUMNAL GATHERING OF THE TRIBES", which was going to be held just
before sundown (17:56) on
Saturday 23rd October 2004 when the seasons
are turning once more and all is rust red and gold, a final shimmering
together before winter moves in.
Due to rubbish weather, it has been postponed until next Saturday
30th October 2004, at the same time, weather permitting.
The location is a vast, profound and elemental place, atop Ivinghoe Beacon, an awesome hill on The Chiltern Way, which overlooks a vast plateau with twenty mile views to the distant horizon over Buckinghamshire to the south-east right round to much of Bedfordshire to the north-east. We shall call down the Spirits of Heaven and forge direct interplanetary links.
This Life-changing Walk is to be taken en masse, with the amber glow of autumn in the air. You'll be wanting to attend in full voice with accompanying acoustic instruments. There will most likely be lots of wind noise, so recording may be difficult/impossible; I'll certainly try though (hopefully by then with specialist equipment ;-) Bring enough clothes to survive whatever the elements have in store, preferably ceremonial robes and headdresses ;-) I have placed an order for dry conditions, preferring clouds and winds but hopefully with beams of sunlight cutting through. Here are some local weather forecasts; phone my mobile (07799 132798) on the day if it is looking stormy, or check back on this page, just in case it is postponed again.
Having just traced out the route tonight, it is clear that sunset will be the best time for this hourglass-shaped Walk, a meditation on Time perceived on the scales of seasons and heartbeats. While pacing the wondrous slopes tonight with rhythms resounding in my mind, it seemed only natural that this shall be a Procession, with participants carrying instruments that are playable while going up and down steep hills. If you have straps for drums/guitars/etc that will help; bear in mind that quiet instruments may get drowned out. If there are enough of us, we could even split up into teams to make different ascents and all meet at the top! Playing as we walk could be co-ordinated in tempo between the groups using mobile phones with headsets for the cowbell players ;-) It's up to You.
Anyone who knows how to make torches (with fire, not electricity) which are safe to carry and will not be extinguished by hilltop winds, please enlighten our journey back down as the sun will be setting at 5:40pm. A suitable start time will be about 4:15pm. The procession would take about half an hour each way up/down but one should double that to allow for plenty of "Ahhh" and "Wow!" moments at certain key points of stunning natural beauty, such as emerging from the woods on Steps Hill at the top of a splendid sunset valley. There is no rush. We should leave time for good jam sessions on top of the various peaks along the route.
The meeting place will be at 4pm prompt at a car park near Steps Hill, not actually marked on this map but it is level with the windmill and the number 249, where the yellow road meets a footpath. There is space for hundreds of cars, so there should be no traffic worries, unless someone informs Slashdot or Flash Mobs. It will of course be more fun to all make our way there in convoy; this can be arranged when Attendees have confirmed their Presences. The car park will be best approached along the long straight minor road (just after the cattle grid on the left hand side) which runs north-west from the village of Ringshall north of Berkhamsted, rather than the more obvious route along the B489, so as to maximise the surprise factor for those who have not seen this glorious place before.
Completing this journey will add the following points: (where n=number of participants)
These points may be used in future drumming and life events.
Please register your interest by phone or email. If you can't make this occasion, but are still interested, there will be many future outings, taking in other beautiful places off the beaten track which I've found during my travels around Herts, Beds and Bucks.
For some reason Jane and I were the only wanderers to make it up to the hills to say goodbye to summer. Luckily, the Angels had granted my weather requests this time, a blue sky with one bank of cloud across the sun, and a misty haze obscuring the distance but creating atmospheric pastel shades. We were suitably attired in long flowing garments, and considered accosting some rambler and saying we were lost visitors from Medieval Times. Jane gets a bonus point of beauty, style & grace for her radiant purple robes, which I captured on film, albeit underexposed in pastel shades against the setting sun. Since there were only the pair of us, we thought best to forego the instruments and concentrate on the views and steep slopes instead; perhaps the sheep may have been disturbed by teams of drummers and bell-players anyhow. After circling the peaks and watching the huge red sun descending into cloud on the horizon, we went back to the cars and played a calm flute duet to the sheep, enjoying the Peace of this wondrous place. Miraculously, there was no wind whatsoever, despite the high altitude, so I could have recorded without wind noise after all. Since nobody else made it, we both agreed that we should get double points for our endeavours; Ruth was awarded +9*2 Spiritual Intensity for again "being with us in spirit". See you next time in costume!
© copyright Malcolm Smith 2004-05-18 - last updated 2004-12-09 - links verified 2004-05-26