Through a weave of variegated ivy leaves,
upon which light and shade played games
with my imagination, the truncated tree presented
a face of hollow cheeks and hollow eyes that
questioned my beliefs.
During long winter months, while rain and gales
rampaged, scattering and flinging in a whirl of
winter chaos, the trunk held fast to its roots,
small creatures sought refuge in the dense
and healthy growth but what were my truths.
Thoughts of Celtic Gods and Goddesses occupied my mind, until spring came shyly
through a cloud of leafy tendrils that framed her face and a crown of green was placed,
for a mythical Goddess Queen, Druantia, protector of trees, grounding my beliefs and responsibility.
13th March 2018
Under a three forked tree, wind blows through the noisy caw of crows.
They seem to own the woods here.
Trees of great height and fallen, filtered sunlight, daffodils and bark littered ground.
I want to walk through the woods but I’m on my own and not sure whether to take the risk. What if……..
Sitting on a bench just inside the turnstile gate allows for pause and reflection. Behind me, emerging daffodils grow in circles around palm trees. Beyond the low brick wall overlooking the lower village, there is a clear view of the beach and surrounding cliffs. I watch a small child at the waters edge, she dares the tide to stop at her feet, watching intently as it almost does. Gulls fly swiftly past. A grey container ship moves slowly out to open sea. In between gathering grey clouds, the sun warms my winter-pale face.
Walkers with children enter through the turnstile. There is safety in numbers and so I allow them five minutes or so to go ahead before following at a reasonable distance. Tall trees on either side of the path are aware of my touch on their rough bark. They watch and listen as I acknowledge their presence in my heart. Amongst the decay of fallen trees, hundreds of daffodils, buds not yet evident, line the edges of the path. Clumps of tiny white bell shaped flowers stand proud above the bracken. The music of the woods is tuning up for spring, new life sprung from the old.
When I was a chid,
I couldn’t imagine where the world began,
There was magic in a rainbow,
the friendliness of trees,
countless days to play, to dream,
until fear, shame, guilt, pain,
shadows cast, and the child was lost.
Was love ever here?
Did it begin? Did it end? Why can’t I remember when?
Did you miss me, child, were you lonely then?
Kookaburra’s start the morning chorus, accompanied by the dove, bringing echoes of another age when the world was still young. The song is haunting. Michael says birdsong heals the world. He believes that birds sing every morning to redress the balance inflicted on nature by the wrong-doing of mankind. It’s a comforting thought. I believe he is right.
It’s still raining. Rain-forest trees drip onto broad leaves of banana plants, into muddied earth, to find again the narrow river that will carry the song in it’s gurgling. Above my bed, a huge fly slaps frantically against the ceiling, finally settling into the corner just above my head. Watching the now motionless intruder, I’m convinced it’s up to no good, planning a dive-bomb attack the moment I look away.
From the other room, a suffocating smokers cough. A spoon rattles in a glass, the medicinal drink is mixed, swallowed with a mixture of hope & distrust. He lights a cigarette and heads outside to taste the morning. The smell of tobacco seeps into my room, but I wait for a few considered moments before slipping on my dressing gown and slippers to join him on the wooden deck.
He is comfortably seated on the cushioned bench, smiling with the same happiness that I feel. I kiss his cheek, and together we listen to the rising echo of the waking rain-forest. The ethereal blossom of the Chinese silk tree, pretty in pink, catches me in surprised awareness. I’m not sure who is looking at who. Michael says nature is curious, watching and listening, just like us. He isn’t frightened of dying, he has a profound sense of excitement at realising the next step in the great adventure of his life. The basic survival instinct is manifested in his anger at corrupt governments, at wrong management of natural resources, and sadness, that so many people are blind or indifferent to the escalating deterioration of our planet, but his anger doesn’t last long, and there is no time for sadness.
Frogs call to each other. Birdsong reaches a crescendo. The narrow river below rushes past with purpose. Immersed in the oneness of all things, enraptured, we listen.