On the first wintry day of the season frost crisps the landscape. My breath billows in clouds of white. The sun is honey, oozing through the heart of the cherry tree and turning the last of the leaves to gold. It is a moment of between, when the earth makes me pause. The chill shivers the leaves from the trees. I can hear them falling. They crackle like flames as they detach and float to the ground. The fire is a cold one, but I feel as though I’m standing in its heart: the crackling is everywhere, the air is gold and a blackbird trills. It is a precious, dreamlike morning. There won’t be another one like it this season.
I sometimes dream of searching for places that don’t exist. I dream that behind the field at my aunt’s is a path that leads to a group of small ponds I’m desperate to get to. On the way, a seahenge has been revealed on the shore, covered in light snow. I never find the ponds. I’ve searched for them before without success. I can picture myself bathing there, yet I only remember their existence in dreams. When I wake I struggle to recall whether they are real or not and I grieve for their loss.
The leaves are moist and turning to mulch now. They no longer glint with gold but have browned and darkened. They are fodder for the dreams of worms and woodlice. But the remains of gold still cling to the trees, like sheets of gilding. Willows dip long tresses of yellowed leaves into a pond crowded with birds. A man is feeding the ducks. Black headed gulls screech and dive. Moorhens peck the shore. Three swans sail among them like a vision: a pair and their cygnet. The cygnet is bigger than its parents, snowy feathers offset by soft beige. I walk past yellowing reeds and bright berries, the last of the season’s lights. I look up at the moment two swans soar over, softly whooping as they fly.
I have been recording my dreams again. It is one way of confronting the darkness and what lies within it. Some are slippery, some never ending. Creatures flit through them: barn owl and crow, polar bears and bison, and a strange hybrid of mole and teddy bear that clutches my fingers with tiny pink hands. In dreams I am myself and not myself. Sometimes I begin as me but become someone else. My dreams are mostly prosaic: processing real events and populated with people I know. But among the ordinary are those moments when I wonder if I really have visited another place and brought a little of its enchantment back with me.
Blogger book of the month: Pamela S. Wight – Molly Finds her Purr
Pam’s blog RoughWighting is full of funny, intriguing and quirky stories both fictional and true. She has a fellow Piscean’s knack for visiting other worlds and bringing back a little of their magic. Pam has written two exciting and enjoyable romantic thrillers for adults and another children’s picture book, Birds of Paradise but today it is Molly’s turn to step into the limelight. In Pam’s newest book, Molly Finds Her Purr, Molly is a stray cat who doesn’t know how to purr. Birds run away from her, dogs bark and squirrels bombard her with acorns. She tries her best to find a playmate, but it seems she’s destined to be lonely – it’s no wonder Molly doesn’t know how to purr! But then a squirrel called Petey takes a chance on friendship and Molly soon has a whole circle of friends around her. It isn’t long before she finds her purr. A heart-warming, comforting and gentle book, with beautiful illustrations, Molly introduces themes of difference and friendship in a lovely way for young readers. A great Christmas gift for a child in your life! You can find Pam here and her books are available at Amazon.