A shrine? Yes the word ‘temple’ certainly merits such a link. A shrine to the past.
And ‘Druid’ – a person of mystery, of magical powers, of art, of culture, of the power of the human mind to encompass the range of emotions and states that make the man and the woman. Especially in Wales: that land of green valleys, black mountains, gouged slate quarries, distant views across torrid water, dark scudding clouds and a character that cries out for release from tyranny.
He had been there before. He had felt the majesty of the memories and the moments when as a tiny child, he had been closest to the man who was his father: but whom he had never known. Visits made that gulf even more distressing, for what might have been.
He was there on this occasion to help others, as that man had been, cast out by a system and made to fend for themselves. Not from the scourge of Nazi but from the failure of procedures and the errors of human at Chernobyl. The explosion had created a legacy, for which man would pay for millennium The effect on a child: loss of the body’s ability to defend itself, loss of energy, loss of a future unless the State recognized its role and paid to take that responsibility. But…it now had no means: all had been used in foolish fantasy, preparing for conflict that could not be ‘won’ and would have resulted in disease and destruction to make the present and recent accident look mild.
The space, the grounds, the house itself-all needing care and attention, but at least a start was in prospect. The couple who cared: who worked to weave their spell upon broken places and minds: to match the needs with the action. To clear, to plant, to nurture the soil and the trees, to bring up their children and others who came with love and affection.
One evening they had sat, almost silently after supper: drinking the red wine of a continent the opposite side of the world, savoring the time and the place and the company. One had asked if the spirits of those who had taken refuge in the house before were with them: and all had hoped that was the case. Particularly one.
He had walked through the same woods where he must have walked, crossed the same fields, stood and watched the same views, seen the same light of dawn and day and sunset, felt the same rain, heard the same breeze in youthful trees, crossed a bridge, passed by cottage, railway, village and shop, garage and grocer. Seeking a sign, a motion of branch, a passage of thought through time which might say:
‘I am here, I was here, look after my world and I wish you well in yours.’
Who knows, who can say: who ought to say: who would wish it otherwise.
Temple –yes it is.
Druid- yes he was.
“The author of this piece, Michael Blamey, was, as a two-year old, at Temple Druid during 1943: His father, John Thomas Blamey (formerly with His Majesties Weezers and Dodgers (Special Weapons Section) as a civilian attached to the Royal Navy worked with amongst others Nevil Shute Norway [A Town like Alice, On the beach, Requiem for a Wren, No Highway] who also enjoyed Rest and recreation at Temple Druid. The house was owned by another author, Leo Walmsley and Michael believes that his family’s time at the house was arranged by Shute. Sadly, John Blamey was very ill: and after a few months they left. He died weeks later in November 1943.
Michael has been a ‘friend’ of the Estate for some 10 years: He and a team of Engineers, friends and family, refurbished the Water Wheel some 5 years ago: and seek a continuing link to a place which holds a strong place in the thoughts and minds of all who visit her. Temple Druid