Sacred Waters

Inspired by this week’s Monday Inspiration – At the Holy Well

I had always felt a tremendous sense of peace down by the holy well.

Perhaps it was the sound of the water, quietly cascading over the rocks into the little pool below?  The harmony of the music was enough to soothe my troubled soul, even after the worst of days.

Perhaps it was the small piece of ancient woodland that protected it on all sides from the outside world?  A barrier against progress, development and the material world…at least for a little while.

It might even have been the ruined chantry chapel, off to one side, that had fallen into disrepair hundreds of years previously.  There was no roof now, and only three walls, such as they were, remained standing.  Weeds that grew in cracks in the stonework, were either holding the masonry together or helping to further demolish it until nothing remained…

The chantry chapel certainly left it’s imprint on the spirit of the place.  The mystery of a long ago priest saying masses for the souls of the generous dead.  I wondered how the poor felt as they passed by it, only a few steps away from their destination…the holy well and the hope of a miracle.  What coin they had would only grant them access to the blessed waters; there would be none to leave to the small chantry for the singing of masses.  They would have to wait out their time in purgatory, as the rich tried to buy their way into heaven.

Of course, the spring pre-dated the arrival of Christianity on these shores, when nature was both deity and divine.  A time when the liminal places of the land, the gateways of transition that marked the threshold between magical and mundane were the most sacred, holy sites.

It was hard to believe that this tiny spring that seemed so inconsequential to modern eyes was so important.  But it was. Ancient offerings had been found hidden in the deepest, darkest depths of the pool, a testament to the worship of nature spirits and long-forgotten gods and goddesses…

But were they forgotten?  Had they remained silent as their influence had apparently diminished and been replaced?  Had they become powerless?

After all, the chapel was in ruins, but the spring was still here.  It was an interesting thought…

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