Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thoughts, Walks And Hares

A few days ago I had a day off from doing creative things.We didn't go far, just a few miles away from home. 
                                                                  View of Silbury hill

Moon daisies ( Ox eye)  danced to the gentle scented breeze and skylark song surrounded the ancient West Kennet Long Barrow. A burial mound 5,000 years old.
As I leaned against the stone it felt warm, no hint of the usual coldness of stone.

Roundway hill was quiet. The blue butteflies fluttered upon tiny yellow flowers of Tom thumb undisturbed, happy to have reclaimed the land.

On July 13th 1643 it would have looked a rather different scene here. A site of a battle

Looking down this hill above I caught a fleeting glimpse of a hare before it disappeared  beneath the bush.
I have been visiting this hill for many years and whenever I do I always remember our school day out years back when we spent the day on the hill with other Wiltshire schools reinacting the battle. We made our costumes and were only allowed to bring food that would have been available in 1643. I remember having a small bag made out of sack to carry my lunch in and to conceal my waterbottle which held blackcurrant juice. ( pretend wine!) Our class were Roundheads, on Oliver Cromwells side. I dug up an old photo of us, ready for our journey up the hill before battle commenced. :-)

Sitting on the hill and near the barrow I felt content and at home. It made me think about a recent and interesting post by Christina on her blog 'A mermaid in the Attic'. She recently did a post called 'Meditations on home'   How sometimes we can feel disconnected and feel as though we don't truly belong if our ancestors have come from another place/country. I feel very lucky to feel connected with this land and feel that I am in the right place. My husband on the other hand feels the same as Christina. Being born and raised in Zimbabwe but having ancestors from Ireland, Scotland, Italy and maybe even a pirate from Portugal! He doesn't know where his roots really are? Maybe he never will?
The feeling I have is hard to put into words. It's a deep connection,  a sharing? It's not always felt, sometimes it only shows itself when you return from a far away place and step foot on home ground. .... Of course I could be competely wrong and I may well originate from Vikings? Just 3 miles away from my home they did DNA testing and found a group of Viking descendants! However I'm not that tall ( 5ft 6) and I was born with very dark brown hair and blue eyes, so perhaps not. ...Although I do have a strong pull /urge drawing me to Scandanavia?....... ;)
Please do go and read Christina's post on the link above, as it's a wonderful piece of writing.

After our day out, the rest of the week was busy, not as busy as this Mother or Father, who I've been watching put so much hard work into feeding chicks. We have a nest in a crack in the wall above the dining room. Photo's courtesy of my Dad who had his 'good' camera with him the other day.  x

I'm sure what I've been busy with is not as important as raising beautiful chicks, but I'll show you anyway..... 

                                             Forgetmenot Hare

                                                           Star Hare

                                                                  Harebell hare
And two more Oaky hares ....
Pop across to my Etsy shop  and take a look .
And enjoy the May bank holiday whatever you are up to?


  1. What a beautiful place to relax. Amazing all the history that has come to pass in such serene places of today. It always hits my heart when I walk upon fields where I know battles have taken place and where many lives were lost. Your hares are as gorgeous as always!!! :) Theresa

  2. My folks have been researching our family tree recently and were surprised to find some ancestors had lived just down the road! Maybe we are drawn to these places?

    I love your new hares... please would you reserve the harebell hare for me?

  3. Beautiful post... really enjoyed reading it...

  4. so beautiful to see the land you call home. thank you.

    I did not grow up where i live, well I was born in the USA but Montana is entirely different from California! Still when I found Montana, i knew i was home, like finding a lover a true love. so i think it happens many ways.

  5. Wonderful to feel roots where you are.... I do, for sure, but I feel them going down into the land here and finding their way across the sea to YOUR land, too! Sort of a strange way of being.... I love those hills you walked! Happy green time.

  6. Oh, to have such hills. I would never stop dreaming if I lived in such a place.

    The hares are sweet. I especially love the forget-me-not hare. xo

  7. Seeing these places gave me some happy memories as my family are colchester people and all spread out around westbury and surrounding areas so I have been to these places and leant against those special stones too, my favourite place is the White Horse at Westbury which I imagine will have inspired you from time to time. Bettyx

  8. I'm not sure about this post - there's something which sometimes draws one to feel deeply connected with a place one has never visited before. One can also feel uncomfortable in a place one has always lived in.

    It maybe you are specially fortunate (by chance) to live where you are inwardly, as well as physically, at home.

    I think what bothers me is that when we feel we belong through our ancestors, rather than through an inner connectedness, it can set up barriers between us and people whose ancestors come from elsewhere. It gives a sense that we 'belong' but they don't . . . not quite so much . . .

    On a lighter note - a young relative similarly re-enacted a battle between Romans and Celts at Maiden Castle in Dorset. He played the part of a Celt - and got cross because it meant he was on the losing side. "They won last time," he complained. "Why couldn't the Celts have a turn this time?"


  9. I really enjoyed reading this post, I loved the area around West Kennet when I went there, it's a very special place. Like you I feel a very strong connection to this country which I don't get anywhere else in the world. My ancestry is English in every line as far back as the late 1600s apart from one strain of Welsh. I wouldn't mind betting that my DNA would mark me as a British Celt:) The Brigantes occupied almost all the areas where my ancestors came from.

  10. It is a wonderful area, I love it - we go over at least twice a year, there is a very special atmosphere and Silbury hill is possibly my favourite ancient site. One day I am going to have enough funds to treat myself to one of your lovely hares, so don't stop painting them!

  11. What a beautiful post Karen, and thanks for the link over to my musings on 'home' and what it means. I think 'home' really can be anywhere, not necessarily where your ancestors come from. The secret is in finding a way to belong. For me, that link to the myth and legends of the people I come from is very important, but more than that, it's feeling like you truly belong to the land. That's what I'm trying to find.

  12. Lovely hares.

    Those pics of places around the Ridgeway take me back as I used to stay with friends there regularly and visit those places.

  13. I love your bluebell hare Karen! Most of my ancestors are from Somerset so I'm not that far from my roots. I don't necessarily feel at home there but I love the Wiltshire countryside nearby. :)xx

  14. Faerie moon creations...
    It is a beautiful place. Although there is a not so nice past connected with it, there is still a calm quiet and sense of peace there.

    Lesley...My sister does alot of reserching our family tree. It's very interesting isn't it? Glad you managed to purchase the hare in time. :)

    Nikki...Thanks. :)

    Tammie Lee... I agree. I'm sure it can happen in many ways.Lovely that you found yours. x

    Valerianna... It is wonderful to feel roots. However I'd still feel just as connected to the land through nature anywhere in the world I think? Although my roots are here, I'm always first and foremost an 'Earth' dweller, lover of the land and flora and fauna. :)
    The Garden Ms....
    Yes if they were walking distance I fear I may not get much work done at all? ;) Glad you like the hare. x

    Betty... The white horse at Westbury is a lovely spot.There are alot of white horses in the area that are all equally special places too and yes they do inspire me although as yet I haven't done any work including them. It would be nice to do one day. :)

    Although I mentioned my ancestors,I didn't mean I just felt connected through them. Yes they were from around here but I can't trace that far back and some i can't find at all. It's more a feeling of the place, the land the nature. Maybe I didn't get across quite what I mean't? Although I do feel my roots are here I am always first and foremost an Earth dweller as I said to Valerianna in my comment above. Yes I understand the barriers you mentioned, but I do feel you can still be interconnected which I feel I am as well as having a love and strong bond with a place.
    I'm sure you're relative had fun in the end. ;)

    Rowan... Wouldn't it be interesting to have our DNA checked. My grandfather was adopted and didn't know who his real parents were. He had brown eyes and lovely olive skin. I wonder where his origins were? Fascinating. :)

    Silbury is special isn't it. I find it amazing how so much effort was made to create it.
    Don't worry I'll carry on with the hares. ;)

    I think you are right, home can indeed be anywhere. I'm sure I would be perfectly happy living anywhere, so long as I had nature around me. I think it's more the land and nature of the place that I'm connected to. The familiar birdsong, flora fauna that maybe has embedded itself somehow in me. I look at it like many layers. The myths and stories are another layer as ancestors are. But always deeper at the very bottom, secure, and neverending will be a connection to the land and planet that we all share regardless of where we live. x

    Hama dryad.... Thanks :)

  15. Such a lovely post, Karen. I love your beautiful photos of the hill, makes me want to run and feel the wind against my face! :)

    Being a true nomad most of my life, I suppose there's nothing I dream more than to settle down for good. I can't say that being close to my roots would be the most ideal because I've learned from such a young age to feel at home wherever I am.

    I hope you're having sunny days over there! oxx

  16. I love this post.. and the photographs which go with it.. I can almost feel the breeze and imagine how green, beautiful and cleansing it was to be there. We also have just watched a family of blue tits in our garden (the photos are on my blog)bringing new babies into the world.. it's such a tiny little miracle, all these things going on around us each day.

  17. What a beautiful blog you have here! There so much to enjoy.

    I definitely understand the idea of feeling connected to land/people... though I'm probably in a more similar situation to your husband. For years I searched for a place that would be "home" and what I discovered was that it's found when I am with people I connect to on an emotional, spiritual, intellectual level - which is ultimately anywhere in the world.

  18. As usual a lovely post. Love your music too!

  19. What beautiful pictures of green and pleasant England. You live in an area full of old magic, as you of all people will appreciate. Silbury Hill has a very strong presence.

    I love your forget-me-not hare, but even more special to me are your oak hares, which I couldn't find listed on Etsy. Oak is a symbol of my husband's family. If you ever make any more of them, I would love to give one a good home! (It would not be lonely as I have a treasured hare of yours already, I confess!)

  20. I meant to comment on this one ages ago but have only just come back to it! I love these ancient places, and your pictures of them through the summer grasses is exactly fitting with my own associations with them... warm drowsy sun on thin chalky soil humming with bees on orchids, scrambling up and up into wide skies while swallows skim the hill's flanks and ravens dance far below... I could go on!
    Your pictures of Roundway Hill remind me very much of Cley Hill near Warminster, those same steep hollows in tight curves of green.
    Your Hares are beautiful... I can't decide which I like best but I am fond of the oak. Those tall summer grasses are exactly where I would often startle a hare on summer evenings to leap up spooked right under my feet and career madly off...


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