Down the hill, up the hill, into Wolf Wood. Turn off the main path. It’s darker, much darker, pine trees close, reaching out branches to touch me, catch my hat, stroke my face; putting long, brown limbs across the path and offering me steps to help climb the hill. The sun shines straight down making a golden path edged by green grass and wood sorrel, then the climbing-dark of the pines rising up sixty feet into the sky.
The wolves are there, grey shadows slithering between dark trunks, a flash of silver fur crossing a ray of sunlight sliding between the pines. Come on, they say, come walk in our woods, we have things for you. We walk on, quiet footsteps thud on the hollow ground, birds carol above, the path leads us on.
‘Look …’ Fiona whispers, pointing up through the trees. Shining in the sun, a tall stone stands up in a clearing to our right.
The path leads uphill again but before we can enter we must pause and ask the guardians if we may continue … once, twice, thrice. Each time … we may pass. Sunlight grows. We walk into a green-gold bowl. Pines circle round us, reaching for the sky. Old, old stones stand all around us, and here is the recumbent stone, the focus for the moon. We circle widdershins and deosil, winding the double helix of life as our ancestors did 4,000 years ago. The recumbent stone reels us in like fish on a line to come sit with our backs against him. Guardian of the moon, he holds us in the silence of the circle. We are in another world.
This is where I will be working from now on, with Fiona. For twenty years we’ve worked together and always in places we love and that love us in return, but now … now, since Imbolc, Fiona has her own croft twenty minutes’ walk from a recumbent stone circle whose spirit of place, as well as the spirit of place of the croft, is calling us to work there.