It was a rather sleepy Sunday morning in Buckfastleigh, not much seemed to be happening at all, except for the faint sound of rustling leaves, a sign that morning had arrived, as nearby birds hurriedly began their business of gathering and foraging. Dear old Mrs Green made her way to the local shop to buy a pint of milk, something she did most mornings. The old town seemed to yawn and stretch its way, as the sun popped its head, from the east. Just maybe, to the faint voice of an Owl, packing up for a day’s rest. Grumpy Jack, an old boy, was delivering Sunday newspapers to homes, just as he had done for the past 70 years.  Yes indeed, the old town was quiet.

Suzy and James had just woken up too. They had lived happily in their old, former mill worker’s cottage for the past 20 years. But all was not well, James had risen early to make breakfast, a peace offering, for the couple had quarrelled the night before over something that really did not matter; but then things had not been well for some time. They had known each other since they were children, gone to the same school together; and when in their late teens, their friendship grew into love, they moved into their cottage together. Suzy came downstairs and sat opposite James at the breakfast table. “James” said Suzy, “I need to tell you something.” “What’s that” he replied. “James” she continued, looking most uncomfortable, her brown eyes looking down at the table, averting his gaze. “I have decided to move out” “What” he replied, “Surely things have not got that bad.” “Yes, sorry, I do love you, but just cannot go on with all this arguing, I need time away, and I have decided to take up the offer of a room at Sindy’s house.”  Sindy was Suzy’s best friend, and lived in Ashburton. James looked startled, “Come on Suzy, surely it’s not that bad.” “It‘s no good James, I have to go.” With that she stood up, grabbed a bag she had secretly packed the night before, and made her way to the front door. James tried to reason with her, but it was no good, she left.

James sat alone in the kitchen with his head in his hands, feeling the weight of his emotions he tried to find some explanation for Suzy’s actions, as it seemed so unlike her. He truly did not know what to do next. Why had this happened, surely things had not got this bad. He felt totally lost and unsure how to respond. The house already felt empty. He loved Suzy so much, so why was this happening, what had gone wrong? How could he get her back?  All these questions were going around and around in his head. Should he go after her? Or maybe he could call Sindy and speak to her, perhaps she could help? He just didn’t know what to do for the best.  His mobile phone rang, he answered, but there was no one there. He put his mobile down, when a text arrived. It read simply, I’m sorry, but I just had to go, Suzy.

The morning drifted by until about lunchtime. James decided to go out for a drive in his car up on to Dartmoor, to try and gather his thoughts, and put things in to perspective, perhaps things were not that bad after all, he thought. James drove and drove, he just kept on going, and was unaware of where he was heading or the time it had taken; these things didn’t seem to matter at all.

In happier times Suzy and James enjoyed one particular spot on Dartmoor, this was the walk to Crow Tor, from the car park at Two Bridges, past Wistman’s Wood, it always seemed so invigorating. The moor always seemed at its best, whatever season of the year they visited. The pre-historic wood and the moorland beyond certainly had a mystical feel to it, with the tingling sound of a stream dancing its way down the valley, in harmony with the moorland wind that seemed to breathe with sighs of loneliness. It would seem appropriate enough, therefore, that James turned into the car park. He sat for a while, trying to re-gain his thoughts, as to why all this hurt had happened to him. He opened his car door and climbed out, closing the door behind him. As he walked he glanced behind him. Suzy was not there as she had always been previously. Surely she still loved him, as he still loved her so much. But her absence in this moment felt particularly acute, while standing in this place, which they had always shared.

James made his way up past the wood. The place still had that air of calmness and peace that they had both enjoyed so often. But this time it was different, for he was alone. He made his way along the edge of the stream until he saw a large stone, where he sat and reflected on the whole feeling of solitude. Was Suzy feeling the same? Or had she met someone else? He stared into the stream. What was he to do? He sat for what seemed, quite a while, his gaze focused on the stream.

Suddenly, his attention was drawn to the sound of a woman’s voice. It was gentle, and had whispered, “Hello.” James turned around and was surprised to see a woman sat only a couple of metres from him. “Hello” replied James. “Sorry if I startled you,” continued the woman. James looked again. There she sat, probably the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, her long golden blond hair gently waving in the moorland air. Her eyes were of a radiant blue, and her pale complexion giving way to the most beautiful smile he had ever seen. “That is ok,” he replied. “You seem lost, can I be of any help?” she commented, moving her long white dress to one side. “No” replied James, quite surprised by the woman’s appearance. It seemed most unusual for anyone walking on the moor, to be dressed in such a way. “I am just sat gathering my thoughts,” James continued.

This sudden development certainly caught James unawares, why did he feel the need to explain what he was doing, to a total stranger, let alone, such a beautiful woman, dressed in such an unusual way. The whole situation felt peculiar, and caused James to look again at his companion.  My name is Angelica” continued the woman. James looked again. “I’m James,” came his reply.

James looked into Angelica’s eyes. He had never seen eyes as hers. They seemed to be attracting his thoughts; he felt a strange feeling of peacefulness run through his body. His attention was drawn to the most beautiful crystal she wore on a silver chain around her neck. James asked, “please, I do not wish to appear rude, but what is that beautiful gem you wear on your chain. Angelica smiled, “It is a Lemurian crystal.” “Lemurian,” replied James “I have never heard of it” Angelica smiled again, “It is an emblem of love, such love that few know of” James looked again, “I must admit, I did not expect to meet someone like you here today, you are so different and my mind is full of questions that I wish to ask, but feel I should not.” “James” Angelica looked into his eyes, “I feel you have been troubled by love, and that it gives you such sadness.” James was amazed at this perception. “Yes, that is true” he replied. Angelica moved closer and put her hand upon his. James was conscious of a feeling of immense love radiating from her touch. “ Yes,” he continued, but I do not wish to trouble you with my problems,” Angelica smiled once more, “James,” her eyes becoming as clear as the moorland rain, “I sense that you feel that your love has been rejected, and yet you still love, and are in a mist of despondency.” James turned his head. “Yes that is true. Suzy, my wife and I met a long time ago, married, and were extremely happy. I do not know why she left me this morning; I just feel my life has collapsed around me.” He continued, “I always felt that love was meant to be a lovely thing, and that everyone must try to find love in their lives.” Angelica gently squeezed his hand. “That is a good thought” she confirmed with an air of gentleness.

She continued, “what is love; you may ask, people have searched for this answer within themselves, for eons of time. Is it a feeling of completeness, a place of honesty and peace, with the absence of fear; yes this indeed is love. It is said, that in the universe, a place of complete love is a place of sanctuary, and indeed it is,” she leaned back, “love is what everyone should seek and find, for when love is found, life embraces the stars in the heavens.” James looked puzzled, “Okay, so why does love give so much pain?” he enquired. Angelica cast her gaze to the moorland. “Indeed this may be true, but look again upon the moor, to the woodland, the birds that pass through the sky, and the waters of the stream.  Such things are given with love. Their beauty cannot give pain, pain is within you, as is the love you have for Suzy. It is a conflict within that you must resolve, and grow in such a way that love between you both will become pure, as it is in the starlight of the universe.”

James looked at his quite unusual companion. “Surely then,” he hesitated a moment or two, “If this love is in us all, why is the world in so much conflict?” Angelica leaned slightly forward. “That is a good observation” she replied, “It is an observation that many in the world do not perceive. If more enquired with this perception, then the world would release its conflict within itself, for all are ultimately connected with the energy of the stars and the light of the universe.”

James could not help but feel a sense of awe upon hearing such words. “So if I could only try to resolve my differences with Suzy, as you say, then we could possibly re-capture our love for each other.” “Yes” Angelica replied, “it is always possible to do so.” James looked at his watch, it was almost 3 o’clock “I must go” he said. Angelica smiled at him once more. “Come” she said, “I will walk with you.” Holding James’s hand they made their way to the edge of the wood. It was here that James looked and gave a gasp. “What on earth is this?” Before them stood some sort of craft. It seemed to be sending out an unusual energy, which pulsated, during each pulse, an array of coloured lights appeared and faded. “Don’t be afraid” assured Angelica, “I must return to the place in which I live.”  “Where on earth is that” James replied, his voice trembling, he was simply amazed. “I cannot believe this.” Angelica gently touched his hand. “I live in the stars, where there is nothing but love.” James could not speak, but just managed a nod of some sort of understanding. Angelica made her way towards the craft. Before entering she turned, her whole body surrounded with such a golden light, the like of which James had never seen before. “Goodbye James, open your heart to pure love, and all will be well inside.”  She turned once more and entered the craft. Within a split second everything was gone.

James tried to gather his thoughts. What had he seen? Who had he seen? And what was this all about? His mind was in total confusion.  He sat for a while, and contemplated the whole experience. Was all this just an incredible dream? No it could not be as the woodland trees were still here and the moor beyond. The stream continued to make its way as it always did, so what was all this about, he pondered? The time moved on, and he decided that he must make his way home. Okay, the house would be empty without Susy, but then he had to face all that. The journey across the moor seemed strange. Hardly any other traffic passed by, a completely strange situation for this time of day. On arriving back home in Buckfastleigh, he parked his car and made his way to the cottage. He inserted his key into the door lock, turned the latch and entered the cottage. There sat facing the door was Suzy. “Hi James” Suzy’s eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry, truly sorry.” James said nothing, but just gave her a big hug. “I’m sorry too, very sorry” The couple just stood and kissed.

James after a few moments broke the silence. “I thought we were finished for good, I really did.” Suzy wiped a tear from her eye. “Yes, I did too,”  “I was driving over to Sindy’s house when I found myself being drawn to Dartington Hall. I parked up and decided to go for a walk around the gardens. “James you are not going to believe what happened.” “Go on” he said. Suzy continued, “I hope you will not think I am going nuts or anything.” “No of course I won’t, go on” “I walked past the Hall and decided to take time to reflect by sitting on a bench taking in the beauty of the gardens.” “Go on,” replied James. “Well when I was sat there, this woman came and sat next to me. She was very beautiful with incredible long blond hair, and the most vibrant blue eyes.” “She seemed to want to strike up a conversation with me. She was the most perfect woman I have ever met, with a radiant presence, and she just seemed to know what was on my mind, she talked of love, of us, and that of the world. I was totally immersed in her energy. After speaking with her and how she explained all about the truth of love, I knew I just had to come home.” James smiled. “Tell me; was her name Angelica by any chance.” “Yes replied Suzy, how on earth did you know.”

By Ray Steed
Edited by Marie Weston

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