I have finally arrived in Cornwall. I have wanted to arrive in Cornwall for a very very long time.
The first words spoken to me in Cornwall were these: Y'ar right, my love?
They were spoken to me by a taxi driver who was reading the bus schedule standing next to me, as I was also reading the bus schedule. I found it perplexing that he, a taxi driver, was reading the bus schedule. Turns out that he was figuring out how a couple of travelers might get to where they were going, without taking a taxi. Hows that for Cornish hospitality...the taxi driver helping the tourists to take the bus.
Even more mysterious was the way he said, "Y'ar right, my love?" It was so quiet and intimate that I didn't think he was speaking to me, even though I was the only other human there. So I asked him if he was speaking to me. He was. And I knew that I had already made a friend in Cornwall. Even though I got on a bus 20 minutes later, probably never to see him again.
But everyone here is like this, whether they were born and bred here, transplants or just visiting, like me. I swear, everyone has a twinkle in their eye and a warm thought in their heart.
The land itself if perfectly remarkable, as well. Remarkable and absolutely ordinary, in that it looks exactly as I imagined it would. And, Yes, I am in love with Cornwall.
If you are keeping track, I have fallen in love at least three times on this trip. My first love was Vernazza, in Italy. This was like meeting some exotic man, so unlike me, so passionate, yet relaxed. Like certain men I have known, I know that no matter where I go, I will never be able to completely shake off my passion for Vernazza. It calls to me and turns me on and makes me giddy. But I also don't completely trust it, the way you do with certain lovers....you want them, but your not sure it's good for you to love them.
Then there is Wales. Wales, as I have said, was like going home. Also giddy, and completely unexpected. Everything, every moment in Wales felt somehow electric, as if I'd been plugged into a part of myself I'd long forgotten.
Now, Cornwall. I believe if you could look at the strata of my soul, the way geologists look at tall towering cliffs and see the ages and history of the land in the various layers of rock, Cornwall would be a deep, pulsing vein running throughout my energetic life. I belong here.
I am about to walk three hours along the Cornish coast to Tintagel, a place I've wanted to go as long as I can remember. Some believe King Arthur was born here. When I was young, very young, I wanted my ashes to be scattered on Tintagel's coast. Later, I thought that foolish, to want to be left somewhere I had not been, a place that belongs to fairy tales. Now, I suspect that that young intuitive pull, the desire to let this body rest somewhere so resonant with my spirit might have been a wise one. I shall see soon.
After Tintagel I will hike to a water fall that my Waiter last night informed me has healing powers. He said it won't be a big shiny gift, but it will leave me changed none the less. He also used the word so many have used in the last few days about Cornwall: Magic.
And it is. As tedious as it may be to say, I have once again discovered myself surrounded by magic. I send it home to all of you.