Wednesday
Dec262018

The wind plays my bones

Sometimes it pays to stand in the stiff wind. The wind that comes across miles upon miles of the flatlands. Just stand and let it blow through your skin and across your bones and play whatever music it will with you until you cannot stand the cold.

Monday
Dec242018

Spiderwork

Christmas Eve and bright haze all day. The recession has been pale and lovely. Now the sun has almost set and at the edge of the fen, across an empty paddock, spiders have spun silk from every blade of grass. The ground seems covered with angel hair, the glass fibre that was used to adorn Christmas trees when I was a child. In the way of the fens the mist is rising from the low places to meet the sun. Teasles and bullrushes are backlit along the old fences. The work of the spiders in the paddock is like thousands of tiny strings of lights. The effect is magical.

 

Tuesday
Nov272018

The Black Dog Gnaws

The water spirit has its true revenge. Or perhaps the wind-spirit has dug into me and placed a curse. Or perhaps the penetrating heat and light of the desert has stirred something in the darkness. Rheumatoid arthritis has come on me like a black dog, out of nowhere. It pulls apart my limbs and gnaws on my bones. The colour has drained  from my world.

For the moment.

Wednesday
Sep052018

Spied on a beach: two angry lovers asleep in each other's arms.

Sitting on a remote Orcadian beach I listen to the water roll over the stones on the beach shushing them to sleep. Bit by bit the larger stones are ground into the smaller stones. Bit by bit the smaller stones are ground into gravel and sand. Bit by bit the sand is ground to silt and clay. Captured by the water, the still-sleeping still-dreaming rock is turned against itself and grinds the land away to fall to the bottom of the oceans. Water and Earth, two angry lovers asleep in each other's arms.

Saturday
Jul282018

The Revenge of the Water Spirit

I sometimes write a post and then delay publishing it while I edit. I haven't often regretted that but I do today and I wish I'd published yesterday's post before the events of the evening.

Water did indeed reclaim the fens. A mass of humid air pushing down from the North Sea and moving slightly eastward as it travelled, arrived at the first rise in the land and exploded. A supercell unveilled its wrath on the narrow road that leads up from the river just east of here. It tore limbs from trees and felled at least three. As it crossed the main road it took down another two trees and blocked the road. As it passed over the Night Planted Orchard it delivered its payload of liberating water in a storm the like of which we have never witnessed. A miniature tornado blow open the windows of the house, soaking Lady Snoutingdingle's boudoir from wall to wall. It tore down willow trees all along the road. It borrowed a summerhouse from one garden and moved it two doors down. A child's trampoline was spotted chasing a murder of excited crows. Lids were sucked from parched water-butts soon to be filled in the blink of an eye. The storm cleared the guttering in a filthy, mossy overflow. The rain made a laugh of my carefully dug drains, overtopping them in a heartbeat. The Admiral mercifully survived the onslaught but seems to be the only willow that hasn't lost at least a major branch. 

But the Night Planted Orchard? It wasn't damaged in any way. Even the broken branch on the grand Old Lady which we had left attached by the thinnest sliver because it's bearing fruit, was left intact. Half of her plums and fully half of the apples in the orchard were cast into the dusty grass. If we get more rain, I suspect that our harvest will be smaller than normal. But the hard, small fruit that we have left, crammed full of nascent sugars by the weeks of burning sun, will be perfect.

Yes the water spirit has returned and has won her long, bitter battle with the sun, as she always does in these haunted wetlands.