Walking in Cornwall

Nearly two weeks in Cornwall already, it looks like such a small area on the map and there is so much to discover. I have extended my stay for another week, also because I love my cabin so much. And all the beauty! The snow cleared quickly and made room for milder days often with long sunny stretches.

I have explored most of the coast while walking parts of the South West Coast Path from Penzance clockwise to 6 miles before St. Ives when the terrain became just too muddy and hilly for me. I liked the challenge to walk the Path, often very rocky and always close to the sea. The structure of a walking day suits me a lot: getting up fairly early, having a good breakfast and then head out, spend the day outside in beautiful scenary, picknick outside or in a cosy cafe or pub and then coming back happy and tired, eat some more, rest and sleep. In between there were a few rainy days which I enjoyed too, resting in my cabin which is now comfortably warm, reading, writing, connecting with my friends online.

Today is such a rainy day, I cooked a meal in the kitchen of my host and chatted with her and one of her friends. The friend grew up around here and told me about the most interesting stone circles to visit. Stone circles are coming more into my focus now after which felt like honouring this area by walking along the coast.

As you might know this was once the most important mining area in Europe. Mining (mostly tin, then copper and arsenic) started here around 2150 BC says wikipedia and the last mine closed in 1998, most mines however starting closing around 100 years ago when cheaper metals came in from other regions. The mining industry made this area a rich and thriving place for hundreds of years. However, today this is one of the poorest areas in the UK. I had mixed feelings when I walked along the ruins of the old mines and chimneys, there can be beauty in looking at the ruins with a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. And at the same time the Earth feels terribly pierced here, sometimes every few meters there is an old mining shaft. One has to keep well to the paths not to fall into one of those shafts. I read that some of the mining shafts had tunnels that went far out under the sea.

The most peculiar thing happened when I tried to connect to the spirit of Cornwall close to the area with the deserted mines. The voice of the spirit felt like it was choking, it seemed to come through in a very high pitched voice. Not that I exactly hear a voice, but when connecting, I could feel how my throat was thightening. At first I thought it had just a funny character with this special voice, then I was wondering if it is maybe not doing so well. Maybe with all the mining and digging and extracting the Earth here might suffer, or as most of the old shafts are now filled up with dirt the Earth cannot breathe? First I asked myself what this might have to do with me and then I asked a few women friends to tune into this together with me and we had a sense that there is not ever only the pain to be felt, it helps to look at it more from a more holistic or integral point of view, also to see the beauty or necessity (e.g. to extract metals). We all sensed that somehow any presumable suffering of the Earth is always connected to human suffering, in the sense that it is only mirroring the suffering of humans, our fates are deeply connected. We could also sense a strength wanting to come through from the Earth which needs each of us to let it come through us, in the case of Cornwall maybe making us aware of all the things that we don’t allow ourselves to express. This feels important and I will elaborate on this in later posts.

People kept mentioning ‘Poldark’ to me in conversations as if this was something everybody should know about. I was curious to find out, but as I don’t normally watch TV, I had to read up about it and actually found parts of this apparently very successful TV series on youtube and watched some of it online for a few days. On my walks I found myself wondering what will happen next in the film and being excited and worried together with the characters. I imagine this is the fun of following a TV series, to kind of feel with the people in the film. Maybe I am just too easily distracted as I noticed that this took me from being present with where I was walking and from my walking practice, so I stopped watching further episodes. However, I quite enjoyed it and it gave me a good idea of how life might have been here around 150 years ago.

Back then and still today one of the most well-known landmarks around here is Land’s End, the westernmost place of England. This is also where we can meet the energy lines again that I mentioned in my post on Glastonbury: Michael and Mary enter England here, very close to Land’s End. I think I detected them and sat down on a rock which I felt was close to the energy from one of those lines. Anyway I felt restored and happy when I moved on. Similar to the landscape near Glastonbury, the land around this area seems to be filled with some special light, everything is a bit more sparkling then in other places or I like to see it like that.

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