Glastonbury Times

If I was ever meant to learn about rhynes, I would have, somehow or the other. A word has its own way of introducing itself – like tussock – introduced to me when I was learning about the life and times of Genghis Khan. Not that there was any direct connection, but it stuck. Fecund, for example, is another word that has stuck, since my wishful MBA days. Nope, never became an MBA. Call it destiny (experiencing words, i.e.)

Coming back to rhynes, that word could have eluded me for a while even though I spent the last two days in Somerset. It had to be a taxi driver, who began making some reluctant and deliberate conversation once he got to know us as tourists. When he asked us where in Glastonbury we wanted to go, I told him that I had no idea – and we were on a plan of no plan. After some tense silence in the car, he felt the need to make some conversation. The Somerset Marshlands and Moors are not of significant tourist interest in that area, or so I think. Seeing vast never ending wet plains isn’t that exciting – if you have one photograph, you have them all, unless you are surveying. So we got a bit of native information about the Somerset Marshlands and Moors and rhynes. Followed by peat. It was interesting to know about them in more ways than one. For one, I love knowing about a place even if it is of no touristy significance. Secondly, it was very interesting to know something new without having to go to Wikipedia for information. It hasn’t happened to me for some time.

Needless to say – the 25-minute taxi ride became Introduction to Somerset – 101, which served as pertinent education for our day in Glastonbury. The moment I entered the town, I knew I would have loved to be there thirty years ago, while still being in my mid-twenties.

Maybe I was.

There is something timeless about Glastonbury, all the modern signage a reluctant submission to the changing world. Yet, the modern signage (warnings for every conceivable misdeed and disclaimers for every possible future event) doesn’t take away the sense of peace from you. If at all, it directs you towards that elusive sense of peacefulness.

Glastonbury is everything astrology, alternative healing, spirituality, and naturalness. I have come to the conclusion that there is good reason for it. I can’t quite articulate that reason. Not yet, at least. The place oozes of art and inspiration for art. From the ruins of the Glastonbury Abbey to the contemporary aromatherapy herbs shop, the place is rooted in all things perceptive, intuitive and sensitive. There is an experience of walking along the streets of Glastonbury that was a never-before experience for me. Well, other than being in Konkan. For me, it was a wondrous walk through history and legend and all things curious.

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We walk the path that lies before us. Often not knowing where we are to go. Not knowing whether the journey is the destination or the journey has a destination. In search of a destination, sometimes. Sometimes we walk paths we know we never walked upon, yet the road seems familiar. Perhaps they resemble another road that we walked upon, perhaps we did walk on this road before and have forgotten it.

Some paths are reminders, of things more than memories.

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