Sunday, November 01, 2009

25 … And the feathery nest …

Tuesday October 27, 2009:

On top of one Tree Hill, we stand and face the curving river. The sky is mackerel, according to my companion, who with nerves of steel has just made it up the deeply cambered steep path in her electric wheel chair. But One Tree Hill is not the place for us we decide.

With relief I lie down on the grass on top of a burial mound on the other side of the park. I raise my face to the sun. The sky is now a clear blue. Only the caw of the crows can be heard on top of the whispering trees in front of the deeper hum of the traffic beyond.

“Goodness!” I say to no one in particular, as something seizes my feet and swings me up in the air. Above me, the down draft of huge beating wings ruffles my hair. Grasped in sharp curving claws. I see her dark wings against the pale sky as she soars towards the sun.

It seems like I am drifting. Gently, I am laid down on a bed of the softest, silkiest feathers. I sigh, sinking deep into them and am content. Time moves on.

“Oh” I gasp as I am swung up into the air again. The claws, the great dark body, the same pale sky rotates as we rise. She lies me down again on the curving bank of a meadow and I relax back until once more I am swung into the air.

Now I lie under the sheltering branches of a stout chestnut tree. All is quiet. The tree leans over me as though watching. The sky changes. I am returned to the bed of soft feathers until removed once more to the grassy bank.

The trees lose their leaves, become skeletal and then begin to bud. The sky thins and whitens until with the sharp winds of winter’s end, I hear the blackbird sing. All winter I sit still in nature or lie cocooned in feathers.

Last week, I remember as I become conscious of the burial mound upon which I am lying, I was encouraged to dance in nature to get me through the winter. Now the birds invite me to sit in solitude and stillness in silence. Perhaps I’ll do both, I think, rolling over, preparatory to getting up.

“I’m going to buy a duvet”, I say as I get slowly to my feet. I stretch and yawn, raise my face to the warm sun. “This is the life”, I think, bowing to the birds and the sky and the undulating land.


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