What a superb drumming group! We were all “on the thread”, Elen was with us, it made us all feel so connected, all together while still each our individual selves. First one person leads then, as the drumming grows, we are following another, then another, then another; the spirit of the drumming moves seamlessly from each to each of us: and we were able to change instruments as we drummed, taking up antlers, stones, rattles, chimes, woodblocks. The rhythms were so strong, holding us within them, we rode the drums!
I sang the story of Thomas the Rhymer, True Thomas who began his journey lying on Huntlie bank under the Eildon tree. The Eildon tree is the hawthorn, Blodeuwedd’s tree one of the World Trees of the Celtic path, under it Thomas meets the Queen of Elfland, dares her challenge, becomes her servant for seven years and is gifted with the “true tongue”, the gift of reading people (like clairvoyance) and of poetry. His nickname, True Thomas, comes from this. He was a real person, Thomas of Erceldoune, Thomas Learmonth (c. 1220 – c. 1298) also spelled Learmount, Learmont, or Learmounth); a 13th century Scottish laird and prophet from Earlston (then called “Erceldoune”). He is likely the source of the story of Tam Lin and his song (which I sang) is “Thomas the Rhymer” (Child Ballad number 37).