[diggers350] Re: Fw: Diggers commemorative account

Valerie Niederhoffer vhoffer at ix.netcom.com
Mon Sep 6 13:45:30 BST 1999

Thank you. Keep up the work.
-----Original Message-----
From: Lilia Patterson <lilia at tlio.demon.co.uk>
To: Diggers email List <diggers350 at egroups.com>
Date: Thursday, September 02, 1999 11:19 AM
Subject: [diggers350] Fw: Diggers commemorative account

>An commemorative account of Digger's day.. a forwarded story from Ali. 
>> "...making the  Earth a  Common Treasury  for All,  both Rich  and
>> Poor."
>>     As midnight drew  near on  Thursday 1st  April 1999,  350
>>     years to  the day  Gerrard Winstanley  and his  followers
>>     thrust their spades into the fertile Earth of St. Georges
>>     Hill near  Weybridge, a  party of  two set  off from  the
>>     Diggers'  commemorative  celebrations  to  retrace  those
>>     first pioneering footsteps, making their  way once  round
>>     the public roads encircling the hill.
>> In  1649  when  St.  George's  Hill remained  Common Land,  still
>> unfettered by the enclosures of private dominion, Winstanley  set
>> off to cultivate this  land to  feed the  starving landless;  the
>> dispossessed peasants of the republic. Within  a year  Cromwell's
>> troops had cleared these dangerous revolutionaries  off the  land
>> once more.
>> Today  with  seemingly  deliberate  spite,  the  propertied  have
>> developed  a  rabbit  warren  of  private  roads  and   exclusive
>> mansions, guarded by gated-access and a private security force to
>> protect its fearful inhabitants and their exclusive golf  courses
>> from the dangerous rabble beyond. St. Georges Hill  is today  the
>> supreme  English  epitome  of  Private   Enclosure,  Wealth   and
>> Privilege so starkly challenged by those Diggers  350 years  ago;
>> as clear a statement as any from the  powers-that-be against  the
>> social aspirations of the many.
>>     Negotiating  the supposedly  well guarded  roads the  two
>>     defiantly ignored the signs of theft all  around. At  the
>>     highest point where once lay the ancient fort that staked
>>     the summit of the Mother's body - a site where St. George
>>     slew her Python, and acquisitioned her Oracle - there now
>>     stands a new 'castle', a monument of glass, erected as if
>>     to reinforce the Apollonian slaying of the  Earth to  the
>>     god of Private Dominion, rudely stating its message  that
>>     Common  is  enemy  where  Privilege  and  Property  reign
>>     supreme.
>>     With the light of a full moon illuminating  their way  in
>>     the profoundly still and  unusually warm  night air,  the
>>     two walked around the remaining crescent  of public  land
>>     that skirts the ramparts of the older  monument, and  the
>>     second circuit was completed.
>> It was the first full moon after the equinox on  which the  Celtic
>> 'Pelagian' Church celebrated the Resurrection of the Earth and the
>> Spirit of the Christ. In springs where  serpentine waters  channel
>> the lifeblood of the earth, on hill tops exposed to the serpentine
>> air breathing life into the land, our forbears celebrated nature's
>> fluids and rising solar  forces as  they quickened  the return  of
>> life within the Mother's womb.
>>     Where the moon shone high and silently through a clearing
>>     in  the  wood  the  two  climbed  the forted  embankment,
>>     passing through a portalled hedge as they made their  way
>>     out  onto  the summit.  Ahead, nearly  complete, lay  the
>>     forms of three imposing post-modernist buildings hewn  of
>>     vast  wooden  beams,  stainless  steel  joins  and  solid
>>     float-glass  walls.  So  around  this  glass temple  they
>>     walked - and thrice round the summit they made.
>>     Where the bulldozers had skinned  the earth  to make  way
>>     for the foundations of these  Temples of  Dominion a  new
>>     mound of loosened earth stood waiting to be rebedded into
>>     quaint ornamental gardens. So to the summit  of this  was
>>     climbed and using  bare hands  the soil  dug once  again,
>>     this time for common aspiration, in spite of its  present
>>     private acquisition.
>>     Withdrawing to the gladed bank, through the portal  hedge
>>     the party came upon a fallen branch formed in mimicry  of
>>     an  antler of  the majestic  red deer.  So with  antlered
>>     heads, as shamans of old they each turned and gave  their
>>     respect to the moon. Sitting down in the glade they broke
>>     the bread of the land and drank  from the  waters of  the
>>     earth.  A small  supper to  focus the  nights events  and
>>     quietly reflect upon under the silvery moonlight.
>> There was one final task to be settled.  Three days  later on  the
>> official day of Easter, a bag of Diggers' soil was scattered  over
>> a public allotment and dug-in - releasing its  fertility to  bring
>> new life at the end of an old, fading millennium.
>> "And now I must wait to  see the  Spirit do  his own  work in  the
>> hearts of others...."
>>                     - Gerrard Winstanley, 1650.
>> The Digging continues...
>>                  www.tlio.demon.co.uk/diggers.htm
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