In my striving for the truth to be revealed to me, I sequestered myself.
Taking my cue from the anchoresses of old I found myself a tiny cottage backing into a steep cliffside overlooking the river. With just two rooms, no electricity or water supply other than the stream which gurgles outside, I found this a compelling sacred place.
It was close to the ancient rock chapel of St Ridgard of the Healing Water.
Once, the Celtic monks of Saint John's Abbey rowed penitents down the river in their coracles to spend the night at the chapel of St Ridgard, deep in kneeling prayer.
One evening, as a magnificent sunset died over the cliff opposite, I fell on my knees by the rough stone altar within the chapel.


© 1999 Helen Whitehead