So, in Darkness.

darklord
The Dark Lord, by candlelight. If you look up the definition of “Familiar” in the witches’ dictionary, you may well find Merlin there. 

Well it hath been a chequered week, friends.

Since last Sunday, and until last night, (although a bit on and off today too), Rapunzel’s (along with much of the mountain) has been without power due to stormy damagings. Sadly there has been death and loss, not of a personal-to-me nature, but Nature has us feeling thoroughly chastened.

There are lots of fallen giants, (Mountain Ash trees), strewn across the forest, no match for the furious gales. Parts of the forest are as haunting as any battleground and its aftermath. Power lines are down on the roads. Our own road was closed at one point due to an eye-wateringly enormous tree that had fallen upon the road, blocking it entirely. There’s been even more working-from-home than usual.

And just as our cottage has been without heat and running water,* the last** of the wolfish wind, hail, and rains of Winter blew down upon the mountain. We huddled in blankets, bent over books by candlelight; shuffling blindly and whispering instinctively inside the long nights. For even our phones were dead. No torches, just candlelight for everything.

Time slipped through us. We could have been living in any time. Outside of time, altogether. Folded inside an envelope, and the world outside.***

Everything silent, muffled, and watchful. I was transfixed by our soft faces, and our shadows – long, ancient, and devilish upon walls and ceilings. It’s all terribly Dickensian; or perhaps Poe-ish. At first a Romantic fetish, and thereafter, not so much. But, it’s something my body fell into step with so effortlessly, wired as it is by evolution for hours lived in the profound darkness of night.

The heart, and breath, and mind are slowed; and that fascinates me. There’s no hyperbole in these gentle rhythms. The quietest of feelings can be felt and heard. Deep in the bone. Both beautiful, but also devastating. That which arises just beyond the flickering candelight, sitting quietly beside me. She who was always there, patiently waiting for me to catch up with myself. With Her.

Of course, all the usual things cross one’s mind: how privileged we are – how much we take for granted, even when we think we don’t. And yes, that’s genuine, despite it also being a tedious platitude.

But, more troubling to my mind, is just how utterly dependent we are upon the Grid. Such softened, helpless creatures are we. No longer calloused and claimed by the flesh and fur of the land; as our ancestors once were.

nasturtium

We’re connected to the Grid again now, but these last 24 hours has been a comedy of abrupt off-and-then-on-again (dis)connections. One moment we’re fumbling in the darkness for the candles and matches; the next the fairylights blaze moronically as we stand blinking like idiots in the light.

I do believe our October may resemble many a Northern Hem one at present. For we are decidedly chilly during what is usually our month of sunshine and roses. I’m wearing my most robust and thuggish of Winter cardies as I write this. And I am thoroughly weary of the wooly beast.

But…there is loveliness afoot. Among other diversions, (and despite my determination to not celebrate my birthday this year), a group of lovelies I know and love are intending to spirit me away over the weekend. So, quite unexpectedly, there shall be the company of dear friends, moonlight conversation, and possibly even sunshine at some point.

Not that that matters when there are bright, warm souls around you. Wine, women, (as well as a chap or two), and song.

But still. It’s by the measure of the love, and the people in my life, I know I’m blessed.

The years have turned, and found me here like a well-worn pebble. I have so many questions and worlds to explore yet. And things just beyond the reach of my years, but close enough with their knowings, and inklings, and fears. In this moment, mere days from turning 45, I feel the strength and power, and sensuality of a healthy, still fertile body. A body I enjoy, and in which I take the greatest of pleasure.

But, there’s also a measure of dismay as the years roll by. Because my body edges towards an inevitable and very different understanding of itself. And I feel a similar trepidation and sadness that I felt as I moved towards puberty. Because what lies ahead are true Mysteries.

And although my sunflower seedlings have been pillaged by the parrots, my basil is all planted for the season. Losses, and blessings. And in this little place, I do find the unremarkable quite filled with magic, anyway.

I may do a Bits and Bobs post tomorrow. Possibly. But cheerio for now.

And I do hope all is well with you?

xxx

 

 

*As we’re on tank water here, we rely on an electrical pump to supply said water to our home.

**for I am an optimistic fool.

***I’ve often thought that if I ever got the chance to travel in the tardis, (because this is a serious possibility, after all) that I wouldn’t be too fussed about exploring all those alien worlds, or risk contracting bubonic plague in the 14th Century. Or being burned at the stake as a witch by a clutch of inbred zealots, (and I so would). I think I’d just want to explore the world of the tardis, (the library!) because that in itself would be endlessly fascinating. I know this is hardly the point of time travel, but I’m a timid bookish creature, after all. And hopefully remaining in the tardis would mean there’d be less chance of encountering a Weeping Angel.

 

8 thoughts on “So, in Darkness.

  1. i am sorry to hear of all the downed trees, and of course, the lost lives. we forget, in our cosseted modern world, that nature is still a Very Big Thing, beyond our control…i’ve been without power on many occasions, in both summer and winter—we tend to get downed trees here due to both kinds of storms, the hurricane-y ones in summer and early autumn, and the ice storms of winter. the longest times without power remain etched in my memory; 13 days in one especially big ice storm, and a truly dreadful 23 days after hurricane isabelle…it’s funny how one gets into a rhythm of living in an older fashion fairly quickly. and it’s an object lesson in how effete we are, how delicate, once stripped of our temperature control systems, our effortless hot and cold clean water from taps, our washing machines, kettles, cookers…

    i know what you mean about the trepidation of being on the threshold of a new body-being. i’m teetering on the lintel of it myself, being about to turn 47 next month…my woman’s body is coming unstuck from the moon these days, erratic, hectic at times with heat and chilled the next moment. there’s an odd sense of having gone adrift. i’m both curious to see and feel how it is to inhabit the next-stage-of-life body, and a bit nervous about it. not *quite* ready to wave goodbye to the lunar tie, to fertility (even though i’ve no plans for more babies, heaven knows!), to that whole “prime of life” thing. but really, who gets to say what my prime may be? i don’t feel especially older; quite the opposite, in some ways. but it is, as you say, a Mystery…

    i hope you are back to normal very shortly, electric-wise, and that your garden thrives despite storms and parrots and certain naughty cats. enjoy your birthday weekend—my very deepest wishes for a happy day and a wonderful year to come.

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    1. Oh my. I think the longest we’ve been without utilities is 3 weeks – but that was Spring/Summer, not during an ice storm! How did you survive?!

      Like yourself, I feel a mixture of curiosity and nervousness about the next phase of womanhood…I know in the next 5-7 years, (if family patterns are anything to go by) that I shall begin to face those changes. Which still feels like a goodly amount of time ahead of me, but I want to prepare and learn and move towards that phase, rather than flee from it, or try to pretend it away from me.

      Thanks for your birthday wishes, and have a lovely weekend yourself : ) xxx

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  2. Happy birthday! Much love to you ❤ I am glad you have come safely through the storms. There is such a wild beauty about days off the Grid, in the hands of the fierce sky – wild and frightening, beautiful and vulnerable, stripping away all our certainties, leaving us raw to the heart.

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    1. Thankyou for the birthday wishes, Sarah! : )

      And yes to the wild, (and sobering) beauty. I’m a thoroughly spoiled modern woman, though, and so whilst a part of me could have remained within that strange pocket of timelessness, I’m relieved to be connected to water and heat and communications. xxx

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  3. oooh, i feel for you. i don’t mind admitting that i live rather in fear of losing The Electrics during a storm….only for the lack of ease of boiling a kettle. my tea, you know. 🙂 although, i suppose with an extended outage, other ways and means would arise. i remember B making tea and hot chocolate on the BBQ in the garage after the big ice storm of several years ago. Winter is the worst time for us to lose power as we don’t have a wood-stove. *shudder*.

    But i always love the lack of electronic interference….even the hum of appliances is silenced and the world becomes a hushed and softened thing, doesn’t it? everything is pared down to essentials. perhaps that’s why – as i’ve read lately – people on extended camping trips come home with renewed vigour to simplify their lives. because you realize how happily and easily you can live without many things.

    i hope you have the most wondrous of birthday weekends!! i’ve been 45 since April and have come to regard the changes to my corporeal form with a quiet awe. i’m curious to move into the next phase…..i think, seeing my newborn nieces [gorgeous wee beasties though they are!], that i am quite okay to say goodbye to that stage of life and move into the next. 😉

    much love to you, dearest of dears….and the happiest of birthdays! xoxoxoxo

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    1. Love the ingenuity of making tea and hot chocolate over the bbq : )

      We boiled our kettle over the chiminiere during the power cuts, but it took so long! I relate to the lack of wood stove. All of these power outages and conniptions have made us all the more determined to get our wood burner installed (we’ve been saving up for one and we’re on target for an Autumn installation – yay!). At the moment, we only have a very inefficient gas heater which makes me feel all of the guilts when we use it. As my brother said, “you may as well throw penguins on the fire and melt a few ice caps while you’re at it”…true : ( So it has to go. But I still refer to it as “the fire” as my way of “manifesting” a wood burner in that very spot…heheh ; )

      I’m with you on being past the whole wanting babies thing. But that’s been me for quite some years. I never really had a big pull to create children of the flesh. And I got it so right the first time ’round that I don’t need any more ; ) Much love to you. xxxx

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  4. I clicked over to 50 this year…even just writing it seems odd and unreal. Rhythms that seemed eternal are slipping sideways a bit, it’s an odd thing to think they will disappear completely.
    My crew went on a holiday jaunt to Queensland to see an old friend of my better half’s. Funny, everyone seems to feel sorry for me that I didn’t go, but I’m afraid Gold Coast theme parks and canal/marina holiday houses are my idea of hell, and not a holiday at all. I much preferred my wintery week at home in The Shed by myself. Although we too had some wild weather and I worried a wee bit that the roof might be in danger of coming off! Lost power for 20 hours too, so not a terrible hardship, as we have a 2nd smaller water tank with a tap, a little wood fire for warmth, and I dug out the little camping gas stove. But I couldn’t contact my Beloved or my babies as my phone reception went (all internet down and we have no land line), and they couldn’t contact me to be sure I hadn’t got blown away! I find it strange and unsettling too, that we are soooo reliant on the grid. I would love to be OFF grid, but that isn’t happening any time soon, and I actually do like the feeling of not having power and not caring.

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    1. 50 feels suddenly very close to me, considering how quickly 40-45 has gone!

      I’m so completely with you on giving the Gold Coast a miss. It’s really not a place for an animal such as me, (in other words, my idea of hell also!).
      It seems that there’s been wild weather all over the hemispheres, of late. It can be quite peaceful without all the mod-cons, but not being in contact with one’s loved ones is anxiety-making. There’s the rub, hey?

      We won’t be going off-grid in the foreseeable, either. But when we get our wood stove in, we should be a little less vulnerable than we are at present. Hopefully. xxx

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