You don’t get to choose where you are born, nor where you grow up – other people are generally making those decisions on your behalf, so you have to rely on their good judgement in these matters.
I’m therefore retrospectively quite grateful for the circumstances that saw me delivered into this world in the small Somerset village of Templecombe.
Not because of the village itself – I was there for barely more than a few days and whenever I’ve returned again for a look around, I’ve not felt any real emotional connection to the place.
Instead, it’s the Vale of Avalon itself that feels like my spirit home, an area that stands midway between the two poles of my adult life in Devon and London.
I’m not the only one, as the mists of Avalon have been a magnet for centuries, for all sorts – pagans, druids, Christians and every stripe of belief in between.
Jesus is said to have come to Glastonbury as a boy, travelling there with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea. King Arthur and the legend of the Holy Grail is also deeply woven into the Glastonbury story.
Frequent childhood visits to the town of Glastonbury always included a scamper up the steep-sided hill that dominates the landscape for miles in all directions.
It was there again in later life, when it always caught my eye from our campsite miles away at the Glastonbury Festival – I always made sure that my tent was perfectly positioned to let me gaze at the Tor each morning.
Five hundred feet above sea level and with an uninterrupted vista in all directions, time spent atop the Tor is always rewarding – almost a reset for the soul.
On a clear day, you can see for thirty miles or more – that’s enough to regain a proper sense of perspective.
Five hundred feet also means that I no longer scamper up these paths – it’s a more sensible and slower scaling of the heights now.
Returning here, at least once a year and in different seasons, always helps to restore my inner self once again.
That’s when I give thanks once more for being born an Avalonian.