Wander logo

My Broken Beauty

wandering through a sign from above

By S.K. WilsonPublished about a month ago 3 min read

"From Bolton's old monastic tower

The bells ring loud with gladsome power;

The sun shines bright; the fields are gay

With people in their best array

Of stole and doublet, hood and scarf,

Along the banks of crystal Wharf,

And thus in joyous mood they hie

To Bolton's mouldering Priory.”

‘Is that why you went to bed early last night? So you could learn that poem?’


- The Trip (2010)

Since that moment years ago watching The Trip and seeing Bolton Abbey, I knew I had to visit the place. I don’t know why, it was just something I would have to do in my life. This place I saw all too briefly in a television program … from the very first moment I saw it on that screen, I wanted - no, needed to go there. For years it would resurface in my mind from time to time, that thought, that desire ... go to Bolton Abbey.

Eventually the planets aligned, and I was there.

Standing in a large open field of lush green grass, facing the Abbey …

My first sight of Bolton Abbey

A shining glimmer of sunlight blazed around the edges of the framework, illuminating the incredible structure, as if touched by God’s own light for that brief moment … I didn’t understand the significance yet, that moment of time where now, looking back, I perhaps finally see the hint.

As I wandered freely and in awe closer to the building, the detail and craftsmanship became ever clever, and ever more beautiful. This strange monument to holding firm through all that life throws at you, the unfinished sections now in ruin merged delicately with an active and holy place of worship. Exploring the grounds as well as taking respite inside for a time of quiet contemplation and prayer … hoping that what I thought was broken in me would be taken away by this special place. Surely if God still dwells on Earth, it is in this priory. Wandering the graveyard, the words of Wordsworth, as recited by Rob Brydon echoed through my mind once more. Standing in the very spot he delivered the lines in the travel mockumentary that led me here. Looking around to see no one within sight or earshot; I gave my best rendition of the poem also, for no audience but the dew on the crunchy grass underfoot, and those laid at rest there.

Regrettably recent rains made crossing the famous stepping stones impossible, however as the sun crawled evermore over the top of the abbey and frost began its slow process of melting away … melting away, like I wanted to. New details on stonework emerged, I lost track of time, missing my planned departure time by a significant amount. Thankfully one advantage of travelling alone is time stops being a barrier to you and the experiences of your travel.

But still, inside … that feeling, that thought.

Something is still wrong … wrong with me.

Even scratching the itch of coming to this place, feeling the rapture of seeing its inner beauty wrapped in ruin and old dead trees surrounding. Still something inside gnawed at me, something about the place hinted to me what was wrong. I often think back to this moment now, years later, that this was a particular moment of a creator attempting to reach through the veil and speak to the created. Giving that impulse to go there, that sensation of first sighting it in heaven’s light. How could something broken be so beautiful? Is it the brokenness that makes it so, or the breaking that reveals the inner beauty waiting to come out?

I still think about that moment when I first saw the abbey; but now I understand, now I see that moment for what it was - a sign from above.

I am not broken, I never was, but I am loved. I just wasn’t finished yet and needed for the outer to crumble and ruin so the inner being of beauty could emerge and be seen.

solo travelstudent travelquotespop culturelgbt travelculture

About the Creator

S.K. Wilson

She/Her | Australian 🏳️‍⚧️ Author

My short form writing mostly falls into the absurd, strange and nonsensical. I enjoy writing micro-fiction collections, and exploring poetry.

Debut novel out now! The Knights of Avalon

Connect on Linktree


Enjoyed the story?
Support the Creator.

Subscribe for free to receive all their stories in your feed. You could also pledge your support or give them a one-off tip, letting them know you appreciate their work.

Subscribe For FreePledge Your Support

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights

Comments (1)

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    You shared this experience in such a lovely way!! 😍

S.K. WilsonWritten by S.K. Wilson

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.