Today is Christmas Day and yet outside, daffodils have pushed through the mud and are coming into bloom. Perhaps, when they've done so, they'll be a little confused. There not being too many other flowers about.
Three days ago, on 22nd December it was Winter Solstice. Six months prior to that it was the Summer solstice. All normal and dandy, except the two this year shared something more then the word 'solstice' - both solstice's were exactly the same temperature.
So that now, at a time when they are normally woozling underneath a frozen earth, worms are finding themselves slurpring and slooping over hulks of soaking wet mud instead. There are even new leaves appearing on the branches of trees. In the woods whole branches have even fully sprouted, so that the half of the trees that are shrouded in the darkness of the woods are still bare, but the half exposed to the path, to the sun, are green once more. Despite having only just said good bye to the last cropping of leaves. It seems us humans, relent on never resting ourselves, are imposing our ways onto nature, in ever more ingenius ways. Read More
If I had a home, I'd invite you all to come.
We'd go outside, light a fire, around which we'd stand, sit and lie. Some of us, would hold hands and some of us would not. But their hearts would burn, as if they were.
And we'd watch as the fire grew bigger, its flame flickering upwards. Our eyes would shine, glistening with the flame and slowly, slowly, we'd start moving. Our feet would be first. Stomping, stamping, our hands would tingle as we stood close to one another and as our hearts came alight, more of us would stand and reach out for another hand.
And the flame would grow taller, warming the chill of the night and the stars would come out from the clouds and the rain would start to fall. So that as the earth started to weep, we'd continue. Standing, sitting, perhaps lying. Some of us holding hands and some of us, if hand holding isn't our thing, being brave enough to let our hearts roar all the same. Read More
If I had a home, I'd say bring your children, bring your husband, wife, lover, partner, guru, sister, uncle, everyone. Bring everyone.
And the more that would come, the larger the flame that would burn. Every skin and every colour and every age and every tradition and every inclination would be there and more and more hands would be holding; because why not?
And as skin touches skin the cure would burn. And as the fire burned we'd begin to sing.
Sometimes we don't get far. At times, our front door doesn’t even open.
The back door does though and so out we go, into our garden; home to a re-wilding project that is ravaging in ernest. So that through our unmown lawn, roses have emerged from nowhere, which of course at some point must have been a somewhere, a wild orchid has come through, plumes of ragwort and tufts of ferns and dandelions and the white fluffy plant that you blow at to set the fairies free. The threshold of our garden is a thick boarder of blackberry bushes. The flies have got to most of the juciest first. We are not too disappointed.
But sometimes the neurotic mother in me spins out: we must go somewhere! She harps. We must do something! She shrills. And so dog and daughter are hoarded into the car and off we go to the land of something.
But sometimes Little Human sort of whistles at the neurotic mother and another part of me whispers: but what is wrong with here? Everyone is content where they are…And so Little Human and I pick up a bucket and head off with dog and go and look for blackberries. Finding ourselves climbing over the fence at the bottom of the garden and finding some worms instead.
Of course life isn’t a constant and so I don’t always feel at ease in our home environment. Sometimes the tiredness blows me so off centre that all I want is to be totally alone. A mother bear in her cave.
Recently Little Human and I moved to the country.
Don’t you get lonely? Friends ask.
Yes and no.
Yes in that we’re still finding our feet and we’re exploring the lay of the land, and oh women oh women where art thou?
But also no...
This is my latest story...
My father died 25 years ago when I was 7 and a half years old. He was a god to me then. Now he is a man partially restored. Not who I needed him to be, not who I wanted him to be but who he was: mere mortal, fallible as them all and my father a human I felt a profound connection with and whose eyes I saw the world through. Read More
I write this sitting* beside a stream flooded with thousands of tadpoles. Frogs not yet apparent. Drying mud cracks around my thumbs and finger. My throat is parched. A plane tumbles overhead. Dogs lie on the grass. And one cheek on my face is being warmed by the sun. My daughter is somewhere. Running around barefoot. And then she's back, poking sticks into the water, fascinated by the tadpoles. Read More
I once met a friend of my father's who looked at me a little quizzically and then with a big smile pointed to the belt he was wearing and said, “He gave me this, your father.” I stared at it not knowing what to say. Part of me wanted to touch the belt, know the belt and hear more about the belt for have only 4 possessions left of my father’s: a chess set and a small sculptor made out of whale bone that Inuit clients of his gave to him after he represented them when he was a lawyer working in Alaska, a pink Hawaiian shirt and a book of Oscar Wilde’s stories that he gave me, with the inscription: “For when my imagination runs dry, love Daddy.” So anything else that may have been his takes on a slightly awesome quality should someone say your dad did this. Stories and memories included. Read More
I can describe someone’s laughter, the look of my dogs face, but not the way the forest smells at night. Only to tell you this: it smells different. Fresher, wetter, pinier. The trees looked like water colours.
Soon my feet found their way as my eyes lost theirs. There was something liberating in that. And also the relaxing that happened. The reasoning being that if there are any dangers - dangers being the only reason not to go out at night I guess, because it's not exactly bad for you, and it's not exactly dull - the dogs will alert me, so really all there was to do, was enjoy, walk and explore. Reminding me that so much of what we are told when young, sinks in and we confuse for truth. Read More
As a child I would fall asleep listening to the sound of the waves pummelling the shore but 20metres away from my bedroom window. Opening the window at night, so that I could hear those waves was a ritual that made my heart soar. Read More
The mother sits a bit longer. And then stands and searches for the bottle in the dark, finding it resting against her daughter’s cheek, her fingers elongate and her palms widen as she picks up the bottle, moving it away from her child’s face. And then walking slowly, she steps out of the bedroom, shutting the door behind her softly. Read More
Sleepers; can be wakers…