Island Blog – Flaps, Frets and Freefall

In the early hours of the morning, I often wake in a flap. All those things on that long list of to-do’s explode into my sleepy head. From sleepy head to sheer panic takes about ten seconds. The list stands before me like a bunch of druids with malicious intent. Maybe it’s more Klu Klux than druid but all I know is that they are chanting judgement and wearing shapeless floaty kit.

Once I come completely to, they begin to fade. Actually, I fade them with similar intent, equally forceful. I won’t tell you what words I speak out into this imaginary crowd of spooky gangsters as they aren’t ladylike. And I have learned that polite requests are like blowing into a hurricane, so I push through the cloaked rabble, silencing them actively and noisily. My initial desire to hide is thwarted, by me. Hiding just seems to give them permission to move in closer and they are quite close enough.

Going downstairs loses me most of them, and by the time coffee is brewing and I can inhale the sharp I-am-here smell, there are only whispers left. Now I can take action in the light of perspective, the light of morning. Someone once wrote that morning voices are very different to evening/night voices, and I agree. For starters, even I cannot stop the rain, the rain that, in turn, is stopping the guy coming to build a new base for my oil tank. This, in turn, is stopping me ordering a fill of oil, which, in turn, stops me lighting the range. This prevents the washing from drying overnight, which now takes four damp days to get anywhere near dry. This fret frets me a lot. I am due to leave for the African continent at the end of this month. What if it rains all through the days so that there will be no homely warm heartbeat in my little kitchen, that warmth that lifts into the bedrooms, that dries the washing, that offers an all day cuddle to us both?

Fret Two is that big load of wood sitting outside absorbing all this rain. I could tog up and barrow it into shelter but I am tired of being wet all the time. I feel like a frog. Boots are soaked and the rain is dissolving the garden into a mud bath. Fret Three is that garden. I had planned to have all the Autumn clearing done before I go. All those sick-to-the core-of-rain summer blooms flop wonkychops across the grass, bowed in defeat, their petals torn. The planters are paddling pools, the flowers floating now.

What makes me imagine that it will never stop raining, that the garden will look like a mangrove swamp by the time I get home again, that himself will freeze without the range, that his trousers and shirts will sprout mushrooms and that the faulty conservatory gutter will fall off from exhaustion? Well, they do. The Klu Klux Druid brotherhood, that’s who. Shall I listen to them, take them seriously? Or, shall I shut out the whispers, denounce them as fears without perspective or gravitas and just freefall into the nothing?

The nothing can be a good mate. And, all it requires is a shrug; that so-what that lifts me into a confidence in nothing at all. In shrugging, I accept the rain without fear. In short, I let go. I freefall. Practically, I can do quite a few things about the frets. I can consider, intelligently, backlit by morning thinking and sans the upstairs judges, a new list. If this month does have to swim to the end of itself, then I will make plans for alternative warmth. If the gutter does fall off, so what? If the washing won’t dry I will find another way. There are many who would give their right arm for my life, for whom my frets are hilarious nonsense.

I smile at that, shift my perspective into touch, and freefall.

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