THE STORY OF WILDSWORTH AS HAS BEEN REVEALED TO ME OVER THE PAST EIGHT DAYS.
This post is rather long, but please do read it as it is an amazing story that unfolds. I am dividing the story into two as it is so long. But please bear with me as I prepare the second half of this amazing story – just coming from seeing one amazing sunset at Wildsworth.
Have you ever had that feeling of being “called” by some place that you have never had connection with before?
Some things that happen are so strange that we cannot make sense of them. It was so with my feelings of being drawn back and back to the little village of Wildsworth, on the bank of the River Trent in Lincolnshire.
Some of you may remember me writing about a sunset that suddenly came “out of the blue” one night. Here is the link to that post
This experience was so arresting that I just had to keep going back to that place. It was almost as if it was “calling” me, but I did not know why. As it happened, there turned out to be some strange connections that I had not known of. How did my spirit “know” this? I just do not know. But events over the past eight days or so have been quite amazing.
I must admit that for years I have been passing through that village. Its very name attracted me – Wildsworth – for I LOVE wild places. It certainly IS wild there. There are not many houses in the village, and it can indeed feel very wild there weather – wise. The river, which is tidal, makes it feel even more wild. It is a very dangerous river, and if you fall into it you have very little chance of survival as the currents are so strong. The village is not near to any other place, and is surrounded by fields stretching for miles. Just the sort of place that I love.
At the very end of the village there is a small graveyard, right at the roadside. There are some modern graves, and some older ones, but in all there only looks to be about 70 graves. Through the years as I have been passing through that village I have felt very drawn to this graveyard, but I always put it down to the fact that it was so wild and so tiny. Yet never did I ever stop and go into it or look at it properly. However, something has changed that in the past eight days. Something that I don’t understand but know has happened.
As we drove home on “the night of the sun” as I will call it, some words came to me. I had no idea at all why they had come to me, but as they say, “truth is stranger than fiction.” The words were about eyes of fire, and hair being white as wool. I recalled that there was something like that in the Bible – probably the last Book of the Bible – Revelations. However, I could not recall it properly.
Upon arriving home, I decided to try and find where the words were, and exactly what they were. Just out of interest, since they had come to me. Please bear with this, because it all led to something very strange regarding my family and my roots, for which I have been searching for a long time.
As I looked,, in the Book of Revelations, for any reference to hair being like white wool, I found these words, in Chapter 1:-
“Among the lampstands was someone like a son of man dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow.”
This amazed me. As a teenager, along with a lot of other teenagers, I had been fascinated by this Apocalyptic Book. We sought to understand it, but never could. Those words had obviously stuck. But the next few words amazed me even more, given the experience I had just had with the sun. These are the words:-
(Please bear with this, for this is not a polemic for religion, but just my experience that ultimately led me to my roots for which I had been searching).
“His eyes were like blazing fire…………his face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”
Well, I was startled. The sky had been on fire that night, as I stated in my posting about the event. I realised that in some way this place called Wildsworth was very significant to me in some way, but I did not know how. I was to find out!
I determined to try and find out the history of this village. It just seemed like an almost inconsequential village, with its few houses and inhabitants. However, in looking up its history, I discovered that there used to be a church in the graveyard. It was built in the early 1800s, and in more recent years was demolished, as it started to deteriorate. It had not been a place of worship for some time, but originally seated 100 people. The next bit of information floored me.
The church was dedicated to St. John the Divine. It hit me like a brick, because St. John the Divine was the one who was said to have written the Book of Revelations. Then, I made another discovery – as if that was not enough, I discovered that St. John the Divine was born on December 27th. My mother’s birthday! His Feast Day is December 27th. What on EARTH was going on?
It took me a while to get over that. I knew we had to dig further.
The circumstances of my mother’s birth were quite sad in some ways, as was the life of my grandmother (her mother) in many ways. I will write of that later, but for now, I will continue with the story.
We returned to the village, and stopped at the roadside outside the graveyard, and just looked, imagining the church that used to be there. It was so sad that it had been allowed to fall into disrepair, and ultimately to have to be demolished. We could not understand how it could have fallen into such a state of disrepair.
As my husband looked, he spied what looked like stone steps in the distance. It was difficult to see properly, as they were almost obscured by the long grass. He thought that they must have been the steps up into the church. As he told me this, I immediately wanted to go and stand on them, and connect with all the people who in the past had climbed them. I wanted to imagine what their stories might be. But, being wheelchair bound, I could not do that, which made me sad. I wanted to actually TOUCH those steps that many feet had touched in the past.
Then, as my husband kept looking, he saw, low on the ground, portions of two walls, on either side of what would have been the church. Inside, they were painted white. My husband then realised that the steps were actually the steps up into the Sanctuary, where the altar would have been. Oh how I LONGED to go and ascend those steps! In fact, so desperate am I that I plan to one day try on my crutches, to get there, across the rough ground, and climb those Sanctuary steps.
We both felt very moved, and very sad. How could such a unique and amazing place have been demolished?
Of course, had I been able to climb those steps I could have stood on the stone platform that my husband could just see, where the altar, dedicated to St. John the Divine would have been. St. John the Divine with whom my mother shared her birthday, (a day which was not wanted or welcomed) and who had written those words about the hair white as wool and the blazing sun and the face of a son of man.
Somehow or other, I had linked with something very important concerning my family. I need, now, to tell about my mother, and the sad circumstances of her birth, for it links into my own past as a child, and my own deep sadness.
My grandmother was born in 1904, and she was brought up on a farm in another village alongside River Trent, but quite a few miles away. The farm was on the cliffside above the river. She came from a very religious, but exceedingly loving and kind family. Her parents were Primitive Methodists. However, for some reason, as a young woman, she rebelled, and went astray. She became pregnant to one of the farm labourers who lived and worked at the farm. In actual fact, a very GOOD man who was to die young. It was a love match, not a sordid affair.
My grandmother and the man married, but my grandmother did not want the coming baby. It was a disaster for her, in those days. I believe she was horror struck at what had happened to her.
My grandmother and grandfather went to live and work in a village called Laughton, which is 3 miles across the fields from Wildsworth! My grandfather worked on a farm. My mother was born there. On December 27th. 1925. But tragedy was to strike. My grandfather died of a brain tumour when my mother was only one year old. My grandmother was left with a baby all on her own. How was she to survive? She and my grandfather had had big plans. They were to buy a farm of their own, and live happily ever after! Things were not the same in those days as they are now, if you were a woman left on your own with a baby.
My grandmother survived by going to housekeep for the grandfather her deceased husband, at an isolated farm in the middle of Laughton Forest. This farm is still in existence as a working farm today, and we took my mother to see it recently. She is 93 now. My mother, as a small child, was very unhappy on this farm. There were no other children anywhere near, and she pined. She became sick, and the doctor told her that she MUST get that child away from that place.
My grandmother went to another nearby village called Blyton, to live with the mother and father of her deceased husband at Rose Cottage. A beautiful place, still inhabited today. It was For Sale recently, an oh, HOW we wanted to buy it, but we could not afford it. I would have been happy to the end of my days there. The parents of my grandmother’s husband, at Rose cottage, were my Godparents. They adored me, as they did my mother too.
Well, in a very short space of time, my grandmother met and married another man. He was a very very good man, but it was a business arrangement, not a lovematch. There was a small shop that my Godparents had created on the end of Rose Cottage, and a farmer from up the hill, out of the village, used to regularly gobto the shop. He was a very wealthy man, but unmarried. He wanted somebody to housekeep for him, and he asked my grandmother to be his housekeeper, saying that she could take my mother, as a small child, with her, and live there. This was the solution to all my grandmother’s problems. A home for her and her daughter. Security.
In a short space of time the man asked my grandmother to marry him, and he would provide her with a home and a home for my mother, for ever, in exchange for my grandmother providing him with a male heir. It was totally a business arrangement. No love involved at all. But he was a kind and a good man.
My grandmother agreed, and in time, provided him with two sons and a daughter. But she could often be heard crying by my mother – for her first husband. My mother, as a child, hated my step grandfather, her step father, because she thought that he was hurting and harming my grandmother.
My step grandfather was an extremely good man, and wanted to give my mother is name, but my grandmother refused, wanting to keep the name of her first husband alive.
How does all this link with Wildsworth? Well, you can find out in a second post that I will make, for this post is far too long as it is!
FROM REVELATIONS CHAPTER 1:-
“among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”