[diggers350] Re: Fw: Diggers commemorative account
vhoffer at ix.netcom.com
Mon Sep 6 13:45:30 BST 1999
Thank you. Keep up the work.
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
>> 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
>> 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...
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