Saturday, March 22, 2008

Morning Mouse – Finsbury Park

Thursday March 20, 2008

The garden was already awake when I stumbled sleepily out into it; intent on greeting the year at its precise spring equinox. Still damp from last night’s rain, the leaves dripped gently as I stroked them in passing, my own tactile “good morning” to the garden. I sat down, half in a great shiny broad-leafed bush and listened to the city humming sleepily all around me as I cast my circle.

At this balance point for the earth, this equality between day and night, I contemplated the imbalances in my life and my responsibility for them. The wind shook in the trees beyond the garden fence. Something skittered across the scattered slate chippings and, judging by the soft rustling dove into a nearby bush. I breathed in the cold astringent wind and waited.

I tumbled into the softest of loamy soil. Velvety against my touch, it yielded slightly as I ran lightly across it.

A huge plant with many thick stems, each topped with a heavily veined flat dark leaf loomed above me. Beyond it lay darkness. Sharp spikes tore at me as I pushed my way through an almost impenetrable thicket of twisted stems. I didn’t care; I just had to go further on.

The darkness was smooth. The sweet loamy soil damply perfumed the undergrowth. As I ran on, I heard the gentle thud of others moving across the ground, the shivering rustle of leaves being pushed aside. I sniffed at the ground and scampered on.

The ivy was everywhere, great thick vines curling about anything that stood still long enough. A great rough resinous trunk rising up from the fragrant earth was covered in it. I ran round it rubbing my body against the rough bark and then against the smooth cool leaves, loving the difference in textures and the difference in scents.

Suddenly, the ground was no longer under me. Rolling over, I explored the space; a lovely comfortable hole in the soft pliant earth. Wriggling to make myself more comfortable, I settled down to wait.

The quality of the darkness was changing. Along with a slight chill, the deep blackness was greying out; the plants, beginning to emerge into more distinct shapes. I put my head upped and sniffed the air, listening to the stillness that was not stillness, all around me.

And then, in the distance, on the tongue of the cool wind’s breath, I heard it - the clear sweet tune of a blackbird singing his morning song. Piercingly, the rippling dancing tune Echoed across the skies.
It was time to come out into the light of a new day. I got up out of my hole and shook the earth from me.

The breeze, like a cool damp kiss brushed my cheek. The garden was stirring. The blackbird in his tree by the road called piercingly above the still sleeping houses; a robin percussively answered from the ash tree on the other side of the fence. Over in the park, a goose honked and from a garden further along, a crow cawed.

The ivy rustled as a carefully stepping cat moved along the fence. Far away, beyond drawn curtness the insistent beeb of an alarm clock summoned a sleeper awake. I bowed to the undergrowth and blew a kiss to any mice lurking in small holes under broad bleared plants. Not sure that I was any the wiser regarding lathe issue of balance in my life, I thanked the spirits of the garden and opened the circle.

Walking round the garden, I touched the gentle plants, now beginning to dance in earnest with the teasing rough wind and as usual when I am feeling happy early in the morning, began to sing softly that glorious evocation to the new day.

“Morning has broken like the first morning,
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for them singing, praise for the morning,
Praise for them springing, fresh from the world.”

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