Island Blog – I walk beneath geese

This day runs smooth. Not all days do, not for nobody. I call a dear friend whose son has died. I cannot know this pain, this wondering, this confusion and guilt. We talk. We find laughter. I know her as a mother, for many years. I know how she cared, what she fought for, how brave she was. I thinks me. She is inside a storm I hope I never encounter. There are no awkward moments because I am clear that I am unclear about everything in her life. I am just a friend, a woman friend and that is more than enough. We women are good at friendships, our men an always puzzlement with their apparent inability to reveal their inner selves. We have many problems with that. I wonder at it and hope it will change, although I see no light on the change calendar. My own sons keep their emotions contained, pressed down, refusing to talk as if talking suggests a weakness they will not allow.

I walk beneath geese, strawn branches, leaf stripped by the recent toothy winds, biting and gone without a care for the damage they caused. I hear tits in the back-broken hazels on the shore, feeding on bugs or other things. I see a swirl and dance of redwings, mistle thrush, fieldfares, like a starling ribbon against the butt of a darkling sky, evening as a promise. They rise and swift, lift and dip into a shore pine, quick with cones, softened in the rain and now food for their hungry bellies. I walk over golden copper leaves, the wet lifting with a laugh into my old boots and I laugh along with the lift.

An hour of walk. Not that I am counting the minutes nor the steps as others do with their kilometre thingies attached to their wrists. I just walk, I just wander. I do remember being young, being the counter and the controller of my beyond. I do. And I smile.

I light my candles. Jig up the fire. Raise the music.

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