Dad dropped me at the horses roundabout in Newmarket for me to hitch to Bath. I had planned initially to see Joanna, Andrew and Leo in Slough, but Andrew’s health had become more serious and they wouldn’t be around. Needing to reconnect with Owen anyway, it was straightforward to plan a trip to see him instead.
I’d stayed with Dad, Apriliana and my two sisters for a few days, since arriving back in Britain. On Thursday night, I went for a walk by moonlight, trusting completely in my intuition along the whole way. I walked for two hours, and it was incredible.
I got a lift fairly quickly from a couple who were going to private dance tuition with one of the top ballroom instructors in Britain in Dorking, south of London. So they took me there. All the while, my head was stiff, a pressure or low-mineral headache.
When they dropped me, I rushed to find a spot to pee. I then sat and had lunch, and kind of had an energy crash. I wasn’t having a good day for energy.
I got a lift after a while to the services, a few miles further down the road. There I had a coffee, hoping it’d help my stomach and head, and had another long break.
I rejected a few lifts going not onto the m4, but then had a feeling that I was going to be stuck there for a long time if I didn’t accept a lift anywhere. I accepted a lift after a while from a lady driving a minibus to Heathrow airport, and she dropped me at the Heathrow junction (before the m4).
From there, head still swirling, I contacted Owen asking him to pull me towards him because I was struggling. I’d received an offer of a lift to Hertfordshire, which was strange considering my sign was for ‘M4/Reading’.
But within two minutes of sending the message to Owen, a young guy pulled over a long way up the slip-road, and said he was going past Reading.
It turned out he was going to Cardiff. So I had a lift, pretty much, to Bath.
The young guy is an engineer at a university in West London, on placement in Cardiff. He asked me many many questions about Skanda Vale, and about my life in general. It was a little hard on my weary head, but my sadhana was to be sharing what I know through my experiences of living at Skanda Vale and Somaskanda Ashram. There was quite an air of naivety about the conversation, but it was important to keep going.
From the Bath junction I got a lift with a lovely lady who is at quite a crossroads in life, having split from her husband and temporarily living in Bath. I told her briefly about my situation, and she responded emotionally when I said about potentially going into a monastic life.
And I was in Bath.
My connection with Owen was as it was supposed to be. We shared pujas, and much catching up. We visited Wells cathedral, and I said farewell to Owen at about 7pm, sun going down, on the outskirts of Wells.
I got a lift fairly quickly to Shepton Mallet. My head was quite mushy again, and I found it hard to communicate much.
And from Shepton, I got a lift very quickly from Danny.
Danny really wanted to make sure I got somewhere decent. He was going up the M3 to London, but wanted to go across Salisbury Plain so that he could stargaze a little (he lives in East London and never gets to see the stars). He’d been visiting his young daughter in Wells.
We stopped in a tank crossing, and he was quite over the moon (the moon wasn’t visible yet). The sky was clear, and we could see plenty of stars. He said it was like someone had sprinkled some dust all across the sky. It was quite a special moment.
We got back in the car, ready to go. But we saw a glow in the horizon in front of us. A big orange ellipsoid. Like an important building lit up, or a massive fire.
The moon rose fairly quickly, but with such vitality and strength. It was a tremendous moonrise. I felt thoroughly blessed to witness it.
And so we left, and drove on. Danny wanted to take me to Winchester services, which he said would be good for me. And we connected so well all the way there. We were meant to meet.
When we got there, I offered to buy him a coffee but he insisted to buy the round. We sat drinking our coffees, and he told me what’s next for him. He flies out to Grenada on Tuesday, to see the famous something or other there (I can’t remember what it is). I told him about Jass living there, that he really should meet up with him. And his mouth opened wide for a moment. One of those moments where the universe brings things together so intricately you can’t quite believe it’s true.
Danny is perhaps in a transition time in his life. He’s been a scaffolder for many years, but now is getting into doing work in theatres, building set supports or something. But also he’s found a love for foraging, and is hoping he can find a way to make a living from it.
It was quite a momentous goodbye, and we each wished each other well.
I climbed over the fence to leave the services (I looked on Google maps to find a route out, but it had been fenced off), and walked through woods aiming to get to the other side of the services. But I felt a connection with the woods, and very quickly found I was due to camp there for the night.
I rang mum, told her I’d come home the next day, and set up camp.
It was great to camp again, and I had a beautiful and highly charged puja.
I slept like as if I’d had too much coffee (which I had), and slowly got myself up and ready to go in the morning.
I felt a little out of it, but good.
I got a lift from a BMW convertible driver to Southampton, and he ended up taking me to the Isle ferry port. He was saying about being overly stressed, and things needing to change in his life. He admired what I’ve been doing.
I didn’t manage to get a lift on the 1pm ferry. Neither did the family who picked be up 😁 really sweet Romanian family, all musicians, who live in Newport on the Isle. They’d been on holiday in Romania for two weeks. I noticed how the lady was singing along to the music they had on – the vibrations of her voice were strong, like she’d trained a long time.
I talked with the guy for a while on the ferry about God, intentions, and how to know what the right thing is. It was a nice talk, and he had warm and relaxing energy.
Mum had told me that she wasn’t going to stick around for my ferry to come in – she’d worked until 2, and was tired out, so was going to go home. I was a bit sad, because I thought it would’ve been a good time to reconnect with her. The family offered to drive me back to Brading, despite only having had one hour sleep the night before. As we came off the ferry, I saw mum standing by her car, almost as if an apparition. I pointed her out, we stopped, and I said goodbye to the family.
The pilgrimage doesn’t feel like it’s finished. I showered and then went to set up my shrine. I started to feel rather sick and dizzy. I couldn’t set it up. Something was completely not right. At no time on the whole trip have I felt anything like this. And so, the pilgrimage continues with learning how and where my life goes from here.
My shrine has been a central root of my life. It is a physical encapsulation of the tenderness of God. I don’t know what will happen next, but it’s beautiful to be receiving this message so clearly.