Monday, July 02, 2007

Remembering the warrior

Sunday June 17, 2007

Dew drenched grass, soft beneath my feet held me as I walked across the orchard towards the small round Moorish building than was the meditation room. The morning sun had not penetrated the cold dark shade between the trees yet and the garden was still and quiet.

Tenderly, the smoothe wood floor supported my bare feet as I walked slowly round the room. Moving in sadness, (for I had come here to mourn the passing of a comrade in struggle the day before) I called the breath of life, the spark of existence, the water of love and the stillness of the ever-waiting earth to be with me in this place. The room gently held me as I paced until I was ready to slide down onto the floor and sit in stillness.

My hands found the three big blowsy flowers sitting in their vase in the centre of the floor. My fingers probed the petals, stroking gently as my mind grew quiet. I reached forward and lit the candle, cupping the flames with my hands, coaxing the warmth outwards. My fingers found the singing bowl sitting nearby on the floor and I softly stroked its lip with my finger. An invisible ringing grew into existence, shivering delicately in the quiet room. Outside a sparrow called cheerfully and a robin answered. I sat back, my back against the smoothe wall and breathed.

I was drifting through the soft petals of a huge flower. It caressed me as I fell through it, yet somehow gently depositing me on the springy grass. In the distance, I heard solemn music, an old kind of music, it’s slow pace and minor cadence stiffening my face with grief. I looked down, for I was on a slight elevation and saw something moving slowly in the distance. A single repeated drum beat wove in and out of the pavan, growing louder as the procession grew nearer.

Now it streamed passed me. Hundreds of people, heads bowed, followed a figure Bourne high on a bier. They moved as one, united in grief. I fell in behind them, moving slowly with the sadness of the music.

I remembered the old comrade and the times we had shared. Looking past the people, I saw him hanging in mid air above the crowd, obviously mid rant, and placard in front of him. I followed on as the faces of other fallen comrades flashed before me, chained to buses, sitting down in the middle of the road at Greenham, talking, writing, taking action in their own ways. All of them inspiring.

Petals fell about me. I looked up and saw the underside of the huge bloom that I had climbed through. The music faded, the procession disappeared. I was sat on a soft wooden floor, leaning against a smoothe cool wall in a quite round room, in an orchard, up a mountain in Andalusia. I crawled across the floor and, giving thanks for the life of my amazing comrade, blew out the candle, touched the singing bowl once more and gently stroked a curling petal of one of the flowers.

Outside in the garden, the robin sang and a blackbird answered. Slowly I got up and stepped out into the fragrant orchard and into another day.

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