It didn’t even warrant the title “stream”, trickle was a more apt description for the small outflow of water running over a few rocks and surrounded by a mantle of mud. I trod warily, trying to avoid the soft, sticky mire, distracted also by the number of items hanging from the trees surrounding the water. I found myself constantly looking up into their branches, which were hung with a panoply of teddy bears, ribbons of all descriptions, and a host of small trinkets and mirrors that glittered as they spun in the breeze and caught the sunlight.
So it was an unexpected discovery. There at the source of the spring, was a face. It stopped me in my tracks, and for a moment I wondered if I was really alone, the face seemed to have been so recently created. As I looked harder, I saw the two green leaves that represented tears and felt the pain that seemed to emanate from it. I wondered who had created it, and what it meant to them, and I hoped that it represented a turning point, a transition that led to light and love. I stood there for a long time, feeling the mystery of the face, wondering about its creator, caught also by the ancient spirit of my surroundings, a place that felt outside of time. Of my time anyway.
I returned to that place a few times during the week that I spent holidaying nearby. I learnt that it was a place of healing, with a history that went back thousands of years, before Roman feet walked the land, and that somehow, the knowledge of its power had not been lost, and some still visited it.
On my visits, I never did see anyone else at this sacred site, although there was always a feeling, a feeling of awareness of a – I have no word for it – a presence.