Gar tuht river, ger te rheged.
Having been listening to the most extraordinary and magical album Imaginaerum by the Finnish band Nightwish, courtesy of my son Jed, I was wondering what this phrase meant and where it came from. Jed kindly investigated and found some debate online; the closest he could get (and by far the loveliest) was that if it is Old Cumbric it means go to the river, you’ll come to a fairyland.
There are places along any river where we passersby are called for some reason to stop and look. For no apparent reason honey flows through our veins, or hearts flutter, or perhaps goose bumps rise. There is nothing overt, nothing obvious, yet we are caught unexpectedly by a glimmer, a promise of something beyond what we see, the feeling that actually all is not just as it appears and that the real truth is hiding just out of sight.
I’ve said before that to me, magic is not complicated or theatrical. It’s the occurrence of the unexpected, the acceptance that just because we can’t rationalise and explain things it doesn’t mean that they’re not real. If we stay open to it, with a little luck magic will reach out and touch us.