On waking, the house creaks her usual creaks and the birds twitter the little garden into a new day. Last night I was woken by the geese. Either they were up partying too late, or something was stramashing them down by the shore. It went on for quite a while and geese are not quiet about anything. Even flying in a pair seems to require a noisy interchange of information as if the sky needed to hear something essential. I always wanted to be Dr Doolittle, understanding all the words of all the birds, the growls and barks of the dogs, the steep sharp cry of a fox, but, instead, all I can do from inside my earthly limitations, is to imagine what is being said. And, I do. I have to do it with my smallest grand-daughter too. We all do. She can blabber on for minutes with all the hand movements and up/down inflections as if she knows exactly what she is saying, which, I imagine, she does. Her sentence construction is so believable that, on asking what she understands is a question (head on one side, eyes on mine) I just have to guess an answer, for only an answer will satisfy her. Good, she replies, which almost convinces me I guessed aright. And off she runs.
Yesterday via WhatsApp, the old sea dog and I had a chat. Fancy a game of scrabble? he texted. Sure, I said, you start. He did. It went thus…….
Me – Chaos.
Him – Tavstoop
Me – oh good word!
Him – Just invented it.
Me – you were always good at that.
Him – Arianism
Me – Show off
Him – yea feels good
Me – That’s 3 words. Not allowed.
Him – oops didn’t fink you cud count
Me – Next word please?
Him – Gardener
Me – Devotion
Him – Amarylisp
Me – Pelargonium
Him – God one
Me – actually God is here just now. Jehovahs are knocking
Him – Good luck
Me – Tulip
Him – Lively Tulip
Me – Lively indeed.
Him – Tired of 1 finger typing
Me – off you go and rest. You silly old fool, frightening us all like this.
Him – I’m here not ther.
Me – not for long. Sleep tight. x
Words are like bridges between us, a network of ribbons connecting, flying out like geese across the water, through the sky and above the earth, brilliants in the cotton wool of circumstance. Noisy yet silent. Reassuring. A link between There and Here.
‘It is a lonely thing, protecting a breakable heart.’ Atticus