The Pepperbox is a folly. A red brick structure, looking quite like a pepperpot, on a small hillock just off what is now a main road.
I can’t go in.. the doors and windows are blocked up.
“Which makes it even more of a folly than was originally intended” I thought.
Cows are grazing around. They seem to have no sense of the unnecessary and unfulfilled nature of this building. It was built by a Giles Eyre. I’m not sure which one. There were three of them… at least….! I’ll look it up when I get home. The last Giles Eyre was a lunatic so I don’t suppose it was him. Lunatics don’t build follies do they? At which point I sit and ponder who actually is the lunatic…… the pillars of society building patriarchal and societal structures and follies, or the ones who are driven demented by the same……..
So I leave the folly, which I can’t get into, and follow the path across the countryside which is on the outskirts of Salisbury. The smells of wild garlic are just coming into bud, the pretty little violets, the fields of rape just beginning to show yellow in the distance.
I came to Salisbury some time ago. When I was married. We came to look for flooring for our kitchen, to a large supplier of Chinese slate. We spent half a day looking through crates and crates of slate tiles. In the days when I didn’t really know what aloneness meant….. it seems like a lifetime ago. Indeed another life, a different life, a different me – but I remember it.
As I wandered over the downs and onto the ridges, away from the folly, I wondered if this type of memory is something which we have evolved into…. do the Shetland cows have long term memory? Do they remember when they grazed in this field earlier on in their lives? Can we further evolve? Can we come to a time when I can view my past lives with the same clarity that I remember my early part of this one? Will I evolve to a point when I can see my whole soul self and the eternity of me with the same clarity that I see the early , middle and end part of this life? Is this an evolutionary process, this ability to look upon our past experiences and compare them, learn from them, muse upon them, consider who we were and who we have become? My early life may seem ‘another life’ but I recognise it as part of this one. Will we evolve so we can recognise our past lives as part of the chain of one eternal story?
I was walking down now, through the gulleys between the fields, the crops and fences at shoulder height, pondering the reason for the build, often by some man for some woman, I wonder what kind of man would build a folly for me. Maybe someone has…….? What a gift it would be if I could remember, as I remembered the trips to Salisbury looking for floor tiles. What a gem in my pocket of glory days that would be.
And on I stroll….. past the fields of newly sewn earth, looking like one huge slab of newly rolled clay. Along the bridle ways and the by ways, through farmyards and past children playing on ponies. And I see souls. I see the snapshots of lifetimes amongst an album of lifetimes. I walk through culverts which may once have been rivers. I pass by a yew whose lifetime has spanned so many of ours, and I step over a beetle whose lifetime will most likely be done before the crop in the next field has even reached maturity. It’s like a musical theatre production: Each song in its own right with its own beginning and end, but eventually telling a story from the wholeness of them all. And I try to remember….. I try to cast my memory back to a time when I was a different person, with a different life and a different identity, a different lesson to learn. I try to leave behind the ‘Teena’ and walk as a soul bared to infinite potentiality. I try to remember, but it doesn’t really matter…. just like it didn’t matter if I hadn’t remembered my marriage and my trip to find some kitchen flooring. The details of past don’t really matter, nor do they have to be remembered. All that matters is how we have grown, how the previous thoughts, experiences, integrations and assimilations make and shape our future. Just me. The infinite me, here and now.
I settle into the footfall with that satisfying thought, and think no more of evolution. Shortly we complete the circle, coming across the cows again, being their own infinite selves in the now with no concern of the blocked up building or the lunatic whose father built it… or why.
I pop my backpack into the car and we reverse out in preparation to
trundle back down the track and onto the A36, when a man in tights
pops into my imagination, clipboard and quill in hand. “And what may you look for in a man young wench?” “Only a man who will build me a folly sir!”
I have a notion that I will put my request out into the soup of my future.