Sunday, September 08, 2013

S Hooved ones and the blackbirds of Hamstead

S Hooved ones and the blackbirds of Hamstead
Wednesday May 1, 2013:
The silent streets slide by as the car weaves its way through the still
sleeping City. On each corner, a blackbird greets us as we pass.
I stride across the hill glad of my thermal hat, padded gillet and thick
socks. It's mayday but its freezing.

The pre dawn air is quiet, and mist-filled. My risks bound with jangling
bells, I compete with the blackbirds, wrens and robins, giving it some welly
as we quietly invade their green space. The sound is glorious.

Lifting my face to the swell of song, , I invite in the vibrations to travel
down the trigeminal nerve to the base, to heal the Schwannoma. With my
ears, I drink in the beauty of the songbird's morning symphony. The
blackbirds sing louder in triumph of the coming light. The crows mock and
jeer reminding that the night will come again and the wheel will turn.

Beside the Obby Oss, another hoofed creature moves, and as a song comes into
my head, I know the white horse goddess I often meet here, has come to walk
with us. She is quiet though, keeping her distance. I can't help it; I
call to her, whinnying joyfully. I'm sure she sings back. I invite the
sound down my trigeminal nerve.

The heath is tuffety and lumpy. We stride across to a pine grove, a greenly
magical space and sing it some songs. My companion has a fabulous memory
for songs. She even remembers my blackbird Beltane song. We sing
cheerfully, enjoying the duet with the birds.
"Encircled by the blackbird's song,
the golden sun begins to shine.
Beneath the mist, the flower strewn heath sings,
'summer is a Common' IN'"

Frailty has come upon us. We are feeling our years. Defeated by the fence
enclosing Boudicca's mound, we stand on the grass with the quiet mist-veiled
city lying below us, and call to the sun, sing to the birds, the land and
each other. A small breeze nips at me. The May is not yet out but the
blackthorn is blossoming. It may be May Day but it feels like late March.

To warm ourselves up, we yomp across the heath, over two brooks, through
woods, past venerable oaks, their branches pointing like jagged fingers,
hard against the softness of new leaf, stark against the light sky. I know
the horned one watches even as I hear the creak of branches in the wind.

I place my feet on the ground in honour of her beauty. I feel I walk on her
outstretched palm. I know I will never fall off and she will keep me safe,
no matter how dizzy I grow.

The Kenwood Spring is in fine voice. Bubbling and cheerful, its water is
comfortingly warm, considering the chill of the day. I splash it on my face
and smell and taste its strong iron metallic tang.

We sing to the well, gaining momentum and spinning energy into the soft
morning light. The mist seems to descend and thicken. Only the heat of the
sun will dismiss this. It is not here yet, hiding behind the implacable grey

Turning, we head for breakfast. But the Oss has another idea. Strangers
are greeted and invited to make a wish. They do, opening up their hearts
and speaking about what is uppermost in their minds. This is important work
and I don't mind delaying my breakfast to do it; but my stomach growls in
protest. No matter, this is the sharing of the magic of the day.

Stepping from the heath, the world comes to greet us, noisily, aloofly,
suspiciously. Passers-by are puzzled at the strange procession cheerfully
greeting strangers with cries of "Merry May! They put their heads down and
shuffle off to work hoping we won't notice them perhaps?

It's a bit of a dislocate, this extended walk through the streets, for
today, we have taken a slightly different route back. Still, I trudge
along, beckoned by the promise of hot breakfast, gradually allowing the
world to return, trying to filter its loud, dirty insistence with the clean
greenness of my dawn walk on the heath. The "in-your-faceness" of London
life, is slightly tempered, by the memory but still insistently present.


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