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.
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?
*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.