This morning, around 11am, we saw the first arrivals at Adhisthana of about 250 Friends, mitras and Order members from all over Britain, and further afield, to add to those Order members who stayed on from yesterday. We also saw the arrival of torrential rain.
Just before the crowds arrived, I took a walk around the village, a mile (less than 2km) away. It’s a rural area and the village, with fewer than 100 residents, includes one or two picturesque half-timbered houses, as well as a largely Victorian church. This sits on high ground on the site of previous buildings dating back to the 12th century and the enormous yew trees in the graveyard indicate it’s been a sacred spot for much longer than that.
I ran into two locals I recognised from Friday’s afternoon tea, who waved in a very friendly manner or even stopped to talk and ask more questions about us. “Who is going to cook for all those people?! Do you all take turns?”
A crossroads between Adhisthana and the village is known as Cabbage Stump; “cabbage” here being a corruption of “Capuchin” - a reference to the capuccin monks who came from their monastery in nearby Ledbury to preach at the foot of a tree on this spot in the Middle Ages.