My blog has become something of a journal during these past weeks of lockdown, and thus it continues. It’s difficult, right now I think, to view the world without the spectre of Coronavirus, the effect it has on our daily lives, our families, our collective consciousness, our dreams. For the first time in living memory the whole world, it seems, is living the same experience, facing the same perils, processing the same thoughts, sharing the same nightmares. I dreamt the other night of a little boat being swamped in the waves as I passed the sea, while carrying my infant nephew in my arms. I saw huge, terrified faces looming out of the waves at me, yet however hard I tried, I couldn’t remember how to contact the emergency services. I ran to a nearby café, where no one could tell me how to contact them either, and instead just carried on with drinking their coffees, and their teas. Eventually, I realised a whole hour had passed and all of the people on the little boat would be drowned, carried away by the unforgiving waters. I woke up, panting into the darkness. Since then, I sip chamomile tea before bed and sprinkle lavender oil inside my pillowcase. I leave the window ajar, listening to the birds burst into song in the early morning, their ringing voices a hopeful antidote to fear.
Despite the dreams, though, fear doesn’t visit me in the daytime. Routine bustles on, homeschool occupies, there is the daily business of three meals and a walk to contend with, sometimes tea and a home made cake in the afternoon. I make bread, enjoying the sensation of kneading and turning dough, and potter about in the garden, feeling the soil between my fingers, and underneath my nails. I wander about barefoot, trying to feel more connected to the natural world around me, this thing that seems to hold such certainty. Where birds keep singing, and geese keep flying over my house, and rainbows keep appearing when I need to see them most. I berate myself for not understanding more about it all, this world I have always felt so keenly connected to. I read things, about geese and birds and rainbows, and want to learn more, just like my children, learning in homeschool at our kitchen table or a desk. I sit with my dyslexic son as he struggles to formulate thoughts into written words – words that sputter out in bits and pieces, like a tap that needs fixing. I find an infinite beauty in his imperfect language, the way he writes words exactly as they sound to him. I think of the geese again, trying to unravel their poignant message exactly as it sounds to me.
I hear about the Orca returning to the Caithness coast once more, a flurry of excitement for those lucky enough to witness them during their daily bout of exercise. I feel glum for a while, missing them on my own daily outing by an hour, or even less. The next evening, I visit the same spot again, but the vast sea stares back at me unapologetically, just as it always does. Like the geese, the Orca know exactly where they are going, what they are doing with their lives. Perhaps that’s why we follow them, hoping to garner some of that surety through our proximity to them, a strange sort of osmosis through our eyes, and through our ears.
And then the day turns to night again, and I look out to the west from my window. A bright star flickers in the sky, a star larger and brighter than any I have ever seen before. My Father tells me she is Venus, not actually a star, but a planet, shining brilliantly on us during April. I read again, wanting to learn more about her mysteries.
And I sleep, dreaming about departing geese and evening diamonds.
Surrendering to the darkness, and the bright star that offers her jewels up to the night.
Beautifully written ❤️
Aww thankyou – hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. x
You too! The sun is shining, and we have harissa chicken for supper, so it’s a good one 👍
Gail, Such a moving and vivid piece of writing. I love the way you share your experiences. Your words paint a picture which resonates with my own story. Through your words I am able to come to terms and find understanding for what I am thinking and how I am feeling. Thank you. Keep writing.
Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Louise. I’m so glad that it resonates for you. Speak to you soon. x
Always a pleasure to read….I hope your dreams calm down…where do you get yeast from ? Supermarket doesn’t have any?
Thankyou Meg. On the yeast – I am currently using sachets that have been in my cupboards for years (I’m ashamed to tell you the best before date on them!) But…they still seem to work okay! I think some of the smaller shops may have them, but yes, they are very hard to find in the supermarkets right now. xx
I enjoy reading your musings, very similar to my own. Your blog and a cup of coffee helps set up the tone to my day. Thank you
Thanks Lisa, that’s really good to hear. It’s always nice to know when people enjoy them. Hope you have a lovely day. x
I sit here on the other side of the Atlantic, sharing your thoughts. Hard as this all is, I do love feeling that global connection. It’s really quite extraordinary to have such a shared experience. Here on the coast of Massachusetts we’re at about the same stage of spring as you are in Caithness. Daffodils are blooming, but we got an inch of snow a few days ago. Our beaches are closed, so no actual beach walks, but plenty of places to get glimpses of the sea. Sending thanks for your lovely writing and images, and love from Salem.
Oh, thankyou! And yes, the scale of this shared experience is quite mind boggling, isn’t it? We had snow a few weeks ago too, but I don’t think we will see more this month. Anything’s possible, though! Xx
Beautifully written. It is lovely to sit and ponder the sky. I hope the dreams calm. Mine have been similar xx
Thanks Susan. I think a lot of us are struggling with our sleep just now, aren’t we? I hope you and the family are still doing okay with all of this. Sending you positive thoughts and lots of love. X
So beautiful, Gail. I share a lot of your thoughts and feelings and I’ve noticed that amazing bright star which I now realise is Venus. Wow! I’ve enjoyed having my eyes opened to such much more in this season. Not rushing, really does have its benefits. xx
Thanks Suzanne, and yes, it took me a bit of research to find out it was Venus too! I’m really appreciating this time of nature and learning. Spring always seems to have something hopeful to offer. Glad you are also enjoying the slower pace. x