Roots, Shanties & Parsley-Girl

Moving from the cradle of the Downs to the shifting sands of the seaside is proving to be a huge culture-shock for me. Although the distance I’ve actually moved is only a matter of about two miles, the difference in landscape and environment has left me feeling entirely uprooted.


My roots are in the belly of the earth: in the chalk and flint, the soil and streams, the grass and flowers, the oak beams exhaling their memories of ancient times; in the song of the blackbird and the robin, the colours of the finch and magpie, the flash of the dragonfly and butterfly…

All the stories I know – whether folk tales, fairy tales or mythologies – speak to me of woods and forests, mountains and glens. My psyche is infused with greens and browns and musty, dank, leaf-litter smells.


I loved the beach too, and would walk there often. But nothing in my experience so far has prepared me for actually living here. I have been uprooted and exposed: dangling in the open air from the second floor flat where I now live; finding nothing to cling to in the shifting sands and rolling tides of the sea below.

So this morning I started making a list of the kinds of stories I need to discover now, which will help me to settle into this strange and alien landscape and to begin to lay down roots in this wild and windswept culture.

Here’s a few things I think might help:
* Sea Shanties – to connect me to the ancient bones of seaside life
* The story of Sedna – to ground me in the mythology of the seascape
* Local fishy-folk tales – to give me a sense of the place and people I now live amongst

Seeking first the comfort of the familiar, I turned to read the story Parsley-Girl. And Bam! There it was.

The realisation that my True Roots lie in The One who is always with me, no matter where I am or where I go. There is nowhere I can be that is not rooted in that Eternal Rock of Love. With my foundations in Christ, I can never be lost or alone. Wherever I am, I am Home.

“Be strong and of good courage,
do not fear nor be afraid of them;
for The Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6.


4 thoughts on “Roots, Shanties & Parsley-Girl

  1. It certainly sounds as though it’s been quite a shock to the system and your experience really shows the impact that our environment has upon our psyche, especially when that environment is the place we’re going to call ‘home.’
    You’ll be included in our thoughts as we partake of our ‘first harvest’ communion, wishing you Lammas-tide blessings and may your own personal harvest at this time be both pleasing and plentiful.

      1. Fascinating that you should mention dragon ~ it figured prominently in a series of my earlier posts. I’ll be checking you out…

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