I wake this morning to a great big thump outside my wide-open window. It is about 04.30 and light. Ish. I scoot out of bed, tripping over the tome I had been reading the night before and falling into the curtains. Fortunately the window is recessed and the curtains have the added gravitas of a black-out lining, affixed by myself I might add amidst a symphony of robust swearing. The whole scoot performance was definitely stage worthy and, once I have recovered from the giggles, I look out to see what sort of flapdoodle might require my proactive attention. Hawk strike perhaps? No, too heavy for that. Might be something falling over like a bird table or even a landslide, although no, it can’t be that. This was a major thump, not a frickadee tumble. I keen around the corners bumping my nose against the pane. There’s nothing to see, not even the birds, I having scared them away with my tome tripping. What I want to find, I tell myself as I rub my bumped nose, is something wonderful, like a heffalump fallen from the skies, or a whole angel with wing trouble, or a huge waterproof book I could read in the garden whenever I feel like it.
Disappointed and with my fed rightly up, I swing my cosy dressing gown around me and trip (not that sort of trip) down the stairs counting every one as I always do. There are 17. I plug in the coffee and flip on the radio. There is a great big star in the Western sky. What? We see no stars in summer. Venus is ahead of herself, if, indeed, it is She.
Then I think, what if that great big thump was a star falling? Obviously not in my wee garden because even at 04.30 I would notice a crater and smell the smoke dust. But maybe nearby? Stop it, I tell myself, coffee. We sit, coffee and me and study the possible Venus. The star is not the usual shape. This is more like a circle of brilliant white light and fixed, not moving. It is there for about 30 minutes, then gone. Could be cloud cover, could be magic, could be nonsense, but I know it is not the latter two. I know what I see when I see it.
So what was the heffa-thump? I, as always, scurry about inside my Alice brain to find resolution. I don’t care about so called realistic or rational thinking which, in my opinion is culture enforced and designed to control imaginations. I am one who works between the worlds, which is also nonsense now I come to write that down. There is no disconnection between the imagination and the logical brain. Fact. There is no disconnection between the spirit and physical world. But there are many who would have us believe that, thus marginalising the ones who effortlessly move between the two. Like me. I would not have been horrified to find a heffalump nor a fallen angel in my garden this morning. I don’t think I would have minded a fallen star not neither, although the mess might have required me to employ the services of a landscape gardener. The former two could have become my friends and just think of the stories they could tell, and the latter would have saddened me, made me think a deal about the poignance of a dead star and then had me with a bellyful of conversational material for years to come.
I move through the day, crossing the dapple mosaics of sunlight through branches, watch a mother warbler shout at me from her branch whilst her babies squeaked from within the safety of the nest. I don’t understand ‘bird’ but I got her point and moved on. I notice the way a spring seeps from the bank above me, rising from deep deep deep in the ground. I watch the trickle of of it through the cadmium grasses, the way they bend politely to let this ancient being pass, step over the outfall and wish the ancient safe journey, apologising for the way humans decide to plant a track, or build a home without a single thought for the ancients. Then I smile. Good for you old y’uns. You can suppress, break, contain and silence them, for a time. But they will rise, the deeply rooted. Always.
I never did discover the origin of the big thump. However, I did reflect on my current tome and was reminded of a recent chapter, based in County Cork where, like here, it rains for 300 of our yearly allowance of days, and wherein the chimney pot, exhausted and ancient, just decided enough was enough with the whole wheezing puffing thing and which, in all its brick and stone marvellousness finally capitulated to the inevitable and made a big show of itself on a quiet night when windows were wide open (for the midges) to land like a startling statement on the front lawn. Perhaps I was replaying the exhausted chimney thing. I will never know.
I like that. And PS, Go Scotland!!