I have tidied up my beautiful cave...I like the word Grotto which means a small picturesque cave...and that's just what is was so warm,inviting,magical and mysterious..when one thinks they can at last meet someone who they have thought about many many times,my Grandmother Sophie.
Time to leave ,alone I walked down the mountain to the road where the little old man with the horse and cart had dropped me the day before...but how far was it to Duwarnish Bay ...only one way to find out, get going Lois.
I walked for about an hour or so it seemed and it was mostly uphill...bushwalking is not one of my strong points......I had just sat under a tree in the shade for a rest ,and at the moment around the corner coming in the opposite direction was a young man on a black horse,cantering along with the main and tail blowing in the wind...He pulled the horse up slowly and alighted ,walking over to me holding the reins he said "Good Morning to you"
"Good morning to you too I replied" "It is unusual to see someone walking up the mountain unless they are a trader or a beggar..."I am neither I said I am on my way to Duwarnish Bay and then on to The Lemurian Abbey".
"You have a long walk ahead of you mostly up hill" said the young man...Oh well as today is Sunday I have the time to give you a much needed ride to your destination"..He beckoned me to the left side of the black horse ,putting my foot into the stirrup ,instructing me to throw my right leg high in the air ,and through the I sailed....Having only been on a horse as a young teenager I must have some idea left in my head because he commented that I looked like a professional rider.....
Oh how men kid us women along knowing just the right thing to say at the right time....Enough nonsense Lois ....
The young man was up on the horse before I had a chance to say what do I owe you for this kindness,and off we set up the Mountain of Umbria.
I wrapped my arms around his waist and was transported back to when I was a girl of 18, walzing around the dance floor at the St Kilda town hall so many many years ago....Then I had a tiny 18 inch waist.
We spoke very little, he did most of the talking describing the countryside and the stories of the myths of the mountain....We rode into town with many a person in the street quite surprised to see the young man with me..Who was she they were thinking........We stopped outside a small inn ,the horse stopping as if it knew where we were.....This was a creature of habit ....I eased myself down very gently from this wonderful black horse.
We had not exchanged names the young man and I but it did not seem necessary,he accepted me as just someone he had helped find their way to Duwarnish Bay ...He beckoned me into the inn ,where we were greeted by a tall man with a rather long black beard ..."That was a quick journey my son " he said...It was then I knew he was the inn keepers son.
After explaining the what's and why's and how's I was shown to a small room where I was to spend the night ...and after a meal that was brought to my room I was ready for sleep......Its not every day you half climb a mountain and ride on a horse for miles on a country road with a handsome young man (did I mention he was handsome) ........So this was the stop off point on the way to the Lemurian Abbey I would ask my landlord in the morning when I set off once again on another part of my journey.
I slept well that Sunday evening ,it must be the country air ,I know I could not smell the sea and this worried me a bit....I like being close to the breeze that smells of the salt and brine from the ocean or bay.
I washed,combed my hair put on my black track-suit pants and top then my heavy boots,I wasn't sure how far I had to walk and also there may not be a young handsome man on a black horse this time.
Throwing my small cotton backpack over my right shoulder I descended the old timber staircase ,and into the front area of the Duwarnish Inn.
I could hear chattering and laughing over to my left and as I opened the door to one of the large front rooms there seated either side of a long table were I think 9 women and me made 10.
They beckoned me (I like that word beckoned) to come join them for breakfast...I was hungry ,this mountain air is not for those on a diet.
We chatted as old friends ,names shared experiences told ,all very different on how we had come to the Duwarnish Inn ....All spoke of a cave/grotto where they had been greeted by a stranger who took their hand and settled them down for the night ...some told of caves that had beautiful lace/satin curtains and big mirrors on the walls,hand woven mats on the floor and night clothing laid out on the bed ready for a restfull nights sleep.
But...........We women had one story to tell that was common to us .....not about how we got to the cave,not about what we had in our backpacks ,not about who we met at the cave entrance ..But ..The chocolates that awaited us ,4 beautiful dark chocolates ,chocolates not seen before so rich and tasty....I then reached into my pocket ,Oh damm I have left my chocolates on the bedside table ,I excused myself ,rushed up the old stairway and into my room to retrieve the 2 chocolates I had left there on Sunday night..........
They were gone and in their place was a small flute ,only about 5 inches long made from the most delicate timber and on it a small card that said......This is for you to sing yourself to happiness".
Well over the years I have done much to give myself happiness ,and have learnt that it comes from within not without .
o now I have this special gift from whom I know not, but something tells me it is very very special,as I wrap it on my small handkerchief and put it at the bottom of my backpack I know that I will play it one day soon......I now join the girls in the front parlour of the Duwarnish.
As I sat around the table with my female friends I listened intently to what they would be wearing for the performance at Lemuria in the Great Banquet Hall.
In the corner of the large front parlour at the inn were boxes filled with bright coloured robes,scarves,hats,ribbons,wigs etc etc ....I was told to help myself to what I need ...Now I am not fond of clothes at the best of times and only get dressed up when pressed to do so......but dressing up for a performance brought back memories of my days when working in Aged care ,no money supplied by the nursing home owners,so we staff improvised ..
I remember over the years being....a Hula dancer, Cinderella, Sweet Sixteen and never been kissed,one of the 3 little girls in BlueLand, a maid,a child going to the football with her Mother.....No rehearsels,we went on cold but it was a joy and such fun for the staff and residents as well.
So as I rumaged through the box I found a long brightly coloured cotton skirt and an off the shoulder white cotton blouse....how this would go with walking boots I hated to think.
Now as I belong to a choir where we sing a lot of folk songs from other countries also lullabys and protest songs etc etc I was thinking I might like to sing something from Portugal .......The CD it comes from is called CRISTINA BRANCO corpo iluminado.....This music is guitar predominately ,but I think a few notes on my small flute might go well..What do you think ?is there anyone in my group that could give me a few quick lessons on the flute.?
Any offers most welcome ,but I am a slow learner.
Now this is the song I have chosen to sing
ll Faudra que Tu m 'Arrives
In English it is
YOU MUST HAPPEN TO ME
Because life happens to me
I myself am forced to happen,
as the day that fades away
turns unhurriedly into night
What magic draws a curve
Inside this deep circle
Who draws a wave on the ocean
how many in the world did he draw
And whoever knows love
as I percieve it in you
Because life happens to me
you must happen to me too.
I will think of the young handsome man on the black horse, as sing this beautiful song,and I will think of a man I loved way back in 1956...I was young and unromantic I think,but now I would be much more romantic ,age does bring wisdom,I am feeling sentimental ,but not sad, just thinking about the song.
I am off to practice my beautiful song and later join the others hoping to find that elusive flute teacher.
Whirling ,spinning, floating ,my skirt is the finest of cotton and settles easily around my feet ,it feels cool against the sunbunt skin on my legs from my horseriding experience ...Oh to be young, to be young again,we should be able to come back to earth again with all our learned knowledge.