Saturday, 26 July 2014

Time travel

Unpacking my childhood books today brought with it that distinctive musty scent of age speckled pages;  evoking a memory of a place I had all but forgotten.

In my godmother's house was a room where time stood as still and silent as the stopped clock slowly tarnishing on the marble mantle piece.
Tall windows, half shuttered and draped with damask, lent a cool air to the hottest of days; creating dust motes to dance in the muted beams of filtered sunlight that fell upon a worn turkish carpet.
The air was heavy with the weight of passing years; causing us to slow and become as shadows, creeping quietly under the watchful gaze of ancestral portraits.
This was 'granny's' drawing room; where the echo of a genteel past could be glimpsed in the silver frames of smiles long since forgotten, that stood, fine filmed with dust, upon an untuned piano.
Under domed glass were the delicate mouldings of baby hands and feet; slightly macabre, yet fascinating in equal measure; as were the stuffed birds forever fixed with wings spread and beaks open wide, to ornamental branch and leaf.
With cautious hands we would run our fingers along the beaded fringing of glass table lamps, and peek inside photo albums with creaking covers and musty pages; sepia filled with images of the long departed.

Finally, curiosity sated, we would soft step back down the passage way and out into the garden; seeking daylight and the warmth of the living once more.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tall trees

Under tall trees, there is stillness. The sounds of the forest fade, and  air falls heavy; enfolding all things in a blanket of quietness.

Motes dance in fragmented beams of sunlight fractured through a shady canopy; bathing the day in a soft stippling of green light, as if viewed from underwater.
Time is meaningless; slow unfurling leaves of delicate ferns and the subtle march of ants foraging through cracks and crevices of ancient tree trunks, mark the minutes in a rhythm all their own.

This is a place of quiet contemplation; where every breath seems to come from the trees themselves and each thought absorbs into the fabric of still silence.

 In these cool, calm spaces, peace is absolute; allowing the soul to rebalance once more.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Spinning spiders

There are silent watchers in the garden; spiders, canopied under leaf and stem who wait, ever patient, for what the day will bring.
 From the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of one dangling, soft swaying in the breeze like the pendulum of an ancient hallway clock. With a twitch of spindle leg it twists and climbs the delicate thread to anchor once more in its gossamer cradle.

Webs adorn each plant, their fine threads shimmering in the sunlight. Some are long vacated, drifting into dull dustiness and ragged edges with no spider to maintain their intricate spirals. They are not mourned, but simply abandoned as the spider moves on weaving its very existence anew each day; never faltering when its web is destroyed, creating and recreating its past and future.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Snail trail

On still summer nights, when the sun drenched day had left a haze of heat rising skyward, and windows were thrown wide to beckon in the briefest of breezes; my mother would lie awake listening to the slurping of hedgehogs in the vegetable garden. With snuffling delight, they feasted upon those slugs and snails that had silently crept from under hose-dampened leaves to dance beneath the moon.

As a small child, I would investigate the 'slug traps' put down to entice both slugs and snails away from the growing greenery. These consisted of old jars, half filled with beer into which they would slide, until sodden with alcohol and unable to crawl back out, they would drown.

Slugs never fascinated me, they were fat, rubbery and grotesque, with nothing endearing to redeem them; but snails! ...with tentacles that stretched and shrank as they slid along the patio, past abandoned pots, and on into flowerbed beyond; These were the creatures that caught my imagination.

Snails, their whorled and patterned shells shiny with rain, hiding under terracotta pots where, in the damp darkness, babies as thin as a fingernail slowly inched up through the cracks and crevasses and out into daylight; their pale shells almost translucent in the sunshine.

On rain swept days, they would creep from beneath the dampened lavender to slowly form a swirling rangoli of shimmering slime on the pathway; and I , fascinated, would watch their intricate manoeuvres as they weaved in and out and around each other, their tentacles quivering and stretching in time to their courtly dance. I could not bear to see one crushed underfoot, so would gently peel them from the path, and deposit them in the long grass beside the fence; safe from unknowing feet and hungry thrushes; awaiting their chance to dance in the velvety blackness of the coming night.

Indeed, when the rain had seeped into another day, and the morning sun warmed the garden once more; the still shimmering steps of waltzing snails could be seen, long after their midnight music had faded into silence.