Written by one of the springs in ‘The Collects’, Dersingham Wood, on Friday 13th September 2013 at about 6.30pm.
Despite having such a short trickle at its end source, this is quite a mesmerising torrent of a spring-fed stream that I sit over. This is proof of the awesome power that water has in a wild environment.
The land here has been singed to the sandy base by this water. All the centuries, perhaps millennia, of organic matter that composted into about two metres depth of peat covering the sandy base is wiped clean where this water channel is.
I said earlier to Jass about a story of witchcraft in Dersingham that I read in the Village Voice a few years ago. I don’t know how a more sacred wooded spot could be found in the surrounding vicinity than where I sit right now. This is a very sacred landscape, that holds its own through it all.
Old, giant oak trees tower above me, sheltering me from a lightly falling rain. Some supremely magical patterns are depicted by the thinner beech trees that arise out from near the water channel.
Overlooking one of the fastest points in the stream, a point where a few more springs cut into the channel, is a cyclone of a tree trunk. It shapes itself fiercely into a loop-the-loop, with pure, incorruptible, power in its curve.
I sit now on one of the most hospitable trees around: it lends its whole trunk to being a bridge and a bench across the stream, and even provides some unusual creeping branch structure to partially dam the stream and to harbour a dry foot rest.
The feeling I have here is similar to what I got in my short time in a National Trust forest in West Cornwall [Minster Wood, Boscastle]. It is robust, and almost aggressively hospitable.
The birds seem half on-edge here. It is almost safe, but there’s a bit of a barrier put up in case of that distant tension coming closer. Their occupation of this land seems strangely insecure right now, almost in the same way that I felt during my occupation of Balcombe soil.
It gets darker now, so it’s quite crucial that I make my way, barefoot, out through the high nettles a couple of minutes walk away to the main path, and onwards to the road for a wet, unsheltered walk home.
Oh, about the taste of the water – it is sweet and thick with a sour touch, and quite warm in comparison to the icy cold Sedgeford chalk spring; a decent ride after having been filtered through my scarf into a bottle.
Part 2 of Discovery Of Dersingham Spring is available here: https://simoonji.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/discovery-of-dersingham-spring-part-2.pdf