A forested glen fell open before them. They stepped down an embankment to walk upon its carpet of golden leaves. Sunlight pierced the thick canopy, illuminating white-barked trunks, casting elongated shadows. The secluded forest was ancient, the air laden with a primal atmosphere. The songbirds fell silent as if holding their breath in the timeless vignette.
-- Excerpt from The Sheltering Stones
I had the unanticipated joy of stepping into this jaw-dropping glen when traveling in the UK. Truth be told, we were quite lost, driving along back roads bound by fifteen-foot hedgerows with rare signage and a limited satellite signal in Pembrokeshire, Wales. We were fortunate enough to stumble into Nevern. Crossing a medieval stone bridge, I parked the car so that my daughter could recalibrate our GPS unit. I stared at a stream known as the Afon Nyfer while trying to convince myself that I could find our way back home and then walked past St. Brynach’s stone wall to glimpse the view on the other side. (Stone walls always make me wonder what is on the other side.)
My curiosity led me into an archaic, eleventh-century kirk frozen in time. Sunken, tilted, crumbling headstones were held in place by tangled vines. The forgotten names of the dead were illuminated by translucent white rays of light that barely scaled the surrounding stone wall. An avenue of seven-hundred-year-old yew trees cast spider branches across the canopy, blotting out daylight and aging the air itself. And yes—the birds were silent.
How fortuitous that we discovered this exquisite, hallowed ground quite by accident. I can only recommend that everyone gets lost in their travels.
This blog is where I post my inspirations for each book in the Barrington Bay series as well as behind-the-scenes tips, pics, and other tidbits. Feel free to click 'Read More' for in-depth posts.