Each year, the Glastonbury Festival arises like Brigadoon from the mists of Avalon. For one week only, it has the largest population in Somerset, eclipsing the nearby city of Bath.
Like a city, the cycle of life goes on within it. Every festival at least one person dies and one is born.
There are midwives on site for that very reason; and it is not unusual to watch heavily pregnant ladies move through the crowds. But one year, I watched one lady so remarkable in her aspect, that her image is etched in my memory today.
It was a blistering hot festival, with everyone running around in shorts, vests and t-shirts. She wore a long, hippy skirt and an ornate, beige bikini top. Nothing to catch the eye in that. Most of the women around her were clad in the same.
But her belly was swollen in the late stages of pregnancy; and it was covered in art.
The lady had chosen the Tree of Life as her image. The topmost branches soared right up to her top. The roots picked through the shadows beneath her bump. She, or the artist, was very talented. The whole creation would have looked amazing on flat, board canvas, but painted upon a pregnant belly, it was stunning.
I ventured down there again the next day. She was around. This time her stomach was decorated as planet Earth, with all its continents and oceans in perfect detail. It must have taken an eon to produce, but it drew comment from all who passed.
She smiled in acknowledgement at them all. I assumed that she was indeed the artist.
The most spectacular body art of all was saved for the last day. I'd wandered down especially to see what she had created today, but it took a while to find her. She was sipping iced tea in the shade.
Her unborn baby was depicted, in unbelievable detail, floating in a cosmic ocean of stars and planets. The Mother Goddess appeared, painted on the mother's side, Her hands cupping the infant as he slept.
It's been years since that festival. The baby would be born and looking to begin his schooling now. But I recall that pregnant body art in brilliant detail. It really was that good.
(NB The image isn't her. Unfortunately I have lost the photographs that I took that year!)