Walking the Southwest Coastal Path


Day 22
Penzance to Porthleven 13.75 miles

Walked out of Penzance this morning after a welcome day of rest and it felt good to be back to the walking. We had the opportunity to do some research at the Penzance Library yesterday, and aside from making the connection that this area inspired much of Daphne Du Maurier’s work, Andrea was struck by something she read in Denys Val Baker’s The Spirit of Cornwall, where the creative forces were spoken of as being so well entrenched into the Cornish countryside that it evoked such powerful elements within the very dreams of its inhabitants.
There is certainly something dreamlike and potently magical about Cornwall that we have experienced all along its coastline, and Penzance had more that its fair share of creative expression in full display throughout the whole of town. It’s an area that has given us King Arthur, as well as historical connections dating back centuries. As we walked out of town this morning we were reminded of the magic and enchantment


of Cornwall once more when passing the mist and fog enshrouded St. Michael’s Mount where words are wasted on its famous beauty. A tidal island topped by a castle, the first known consignments of Cornish tin were exported from here by Phoenicians as early as 325BC, and Cornish Legend holds that the Mount was built by the giant ‘Cormoran’, which is the basis for the ‘Jack the Giant killer’ legend. Currently owned by the National Trust, it was Originally the site of a Benedictine Chapel founded by Edward the Confessor in 1044, while the spectacular castle on the rock dates from the 14th century. And much like Tintagel, there is a palpable presence here that draws people by the millions. Whether it’s the power of stories, or the power of prayer or dreams, there is an energy that exists which evokes powerful human response!


So as I walked all day my thoughts centered around this question of dreams and dreaming, and how Joseph Campbell speaks about dreams being personalized myths, and how mythology evolves out of a cultures collective store of dreams. And if both truly connect us to the deeper collective unconscious (subconscious) realm of meaning or spirit, why is it that dreamy kids are so often targeted by institutional schooling as in need of being pulled back into some form? The proverbial dreamy kid looking out the school’s window, or the child who can’t be allowed to dream their summers away; why is it that we wish to correct this? It made me ponder deeply, and come to the position that, if education is truly meant to draw that which is the deepest storehouse of our individual genius out of us into the light of day, kids need to be allowed to dream more often. In fact, perhaps the greater part of their days should be a living into those dreams! Perhaps, rather than spending 5-6 hrs/day in classrooms being told what is important, they should spend that time out upon the land listening to the wealth of stories that it contains. It might put a bit of wildness back into them where it could wield its magic rightly.


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