I drove deep into the valley down a farm track and when I'd gone as far as I could go I parked up in the woods by Tarn Hole Beck.
I continued on foot up the dale, following the riverbank past large boulders left there by the ice age and old gnarly oak trees interspersed with bracken. The riverbank rose to a great height and I soon found myself creeping along the edge of a deep gulley with the river gurgling far below.
After a while the gulley became less deep and looking down I could see a beautiful little glade by the river, with a tiny waterfall.
I scrambled down and found the place to be totally enchanting. A place of high energy where I could recharge my batteries. This was not a place that needed healing, it was a place that could heal me!
I felt a great urge to connect totally with this place and so I stripped off completely and went bathing in the icy cold water.
I bathed in a pool and by a waterfall and then followed the river downstream, scrambling over rocks and sliding down small cascades while all the time I could see, hear and feel the rushing water all around me.
About 100 yards downstream I came to a muddy, gritty riverbank. I scraped out some of the mud with my fingers and started rubbing it into my arms, then my chest and pretty soon I was covered all over in mud! I wanted to mask the smells of the modern world, the shampoo, the deodourant, and become at one with this place. I started to feel like a wild man, a primitive, living in the deep forest. I rooted through the leaf litter and soon I was covered in twigs and dead leaves too. I was the Green Man!
I understood now what it really meant to be the Green Man; he was the wild man! The Wild Man of the Woods!
I started to tune in now in a way I never have done before. I felt like I was at one with all the vibrations of nature all around me. It felt so vibrant and alive! Not peaceful and quiet, like we imagine on a sunday stroll, but buzzing with electricity! Everything around me was alive, really alive! It was humming and interacting in a way that is indescribable unless you've experienced it. Somehow everything was connected, sight, smell, hearing and the static hum that connected all things. No wonder wild animals had such sharp instincts and could detect people approaching long before we could detect them!
I could just imagine what a clumsy discordant note modern humans must sound when they come clumping around these forests with their big rubber-soled boots and trivial conversation. How completely disconnected from what is really going on here!
I realised then the importance of becoming connected with your own patch of Earth. To truly connect you must bring nothing in from outside. Eat what you find there, clothe yourself and shelter yourself using only what you find there, only then will you be able to connect fully and truly feel like you're a part of the land.
Now that I had found this special place I would return again, to discover more of its magic and connect again with the raw spirits of nature.
Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at www.themagicalplaces.com