Monday, July 02, 2007

The Amber lightening flash – cape Cornwall

Part 1: The dance for life

Saturday June 23 2007

The Rattles rasped harshly. My feet moved impulsively. My body rocked to the rhythm.

The wood was dark; the fire flickered and leaped, lighting up the undersides of the trees luridly. In the fire she danced, her red skirts swirling, orange arms waving, yellow hair shaking as she twirled and spiralled.

The lethargy, like a heavy blanket weighed me down, compressing my chest. Yet, my feet wanted to move. I had to dance. Sweat poured down my face as I fought the inertia.

With a huge effort, I broke free of the invisible bonds and leaped into the scorching fire. I screamed with pain and excitement as I hopped from foot to foot. She gyrated and I joined her, moving with her, our dance becoming wilder and wilder. We twirled round until we became one, dancing in an explosion of leaping flames.

And then she was gone. The fire subsided and I jumped from the embers onto the cool grass, the pain of my burnt feet almost unbearable.

Looking back, I saw something shining in the ashes. Reaching down, I touched something warm and yet solid. In gentle hands, I picked up a piece of beautiful glistening amber, shaped like a lightening flash. My fingers traced the shape and I saw in my minds eye, the dancing fire goddess. Beyond the pain of my feet, I remembered the dance and felt energised.

Part 2, the Walk of Attention

Sunday June 24, 2007:

A Snake of women each with a hand on the shoulder of the woman in front of her, moved as one along the quiet Cornish road. Eyes cast down in meditation, as a foot was raised; another was put in its place. As one, the line rocked gently from side to side as it moved slowly down the hill.

The wind from the sea blew the drizzle into our faces. Feet crushed grass and the aroma rose sharp and sweet. Above, a seagull peonned piteously.

In the dark night, a chain of silent women walked. Each bowed down with the invisible Burdon of sorrow, each walking in her sister’s footsteps. The road was rough but they steadied those whose feet faltered for they were one, united in sorrow, together, surviving. And because they were together, they would not be broken.

The scene changed. A row of small children, perhaps as young as three years old, hand on the one in front’s shoulder walked carefully forward. Moving slowly they made their way through the unfamiliar territory, their feet firmly placed, one foot in front of the other, their little uniformed tunics rippling in the wind. Their heads were bowed, their eyes downcast or closed, for they were all blind. Each felt the warm flesh of his neighbour through his thin cotton covered shoulders and each knowing, that despite being sent away from home so young, they were not alone.

I walked with a sway, echoing my neighbour’s movement, stepping into the place that her foot had just left. The sea-salt air, damp with spray and rain, coated my cheek and I felt at ease.

At last we were still, in a circle above the crashing waves. The sun pushed aside the clouds and shone down in our faces as we raised them to it, giving thanks to the air, fire, water and earth for our lives, the land and the day.

A sister touched my arm and called out to the assembled group. “Look, there’s your amber lightening flash!” She turned me to face it across the cove and described how the rock opposite had a quartz lightening flash and that it had been stained orange by iron. It glimmered in the sudden sunshine and I could see it clearly in my minds eye, and felt my energy shift.

Below my feet, I heard the waves crashing against the rocks and longed to be down there closer to the sea. But time was not on our side and we turned and snaked our way back up the hill.


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