It’s the dark time, a time of shadows, half-light and grey skies. Icy winds sweep over the hills and flurries of snowflakes attach themselves to grass and bracken. It’s a time for building fires, blocking draughts and storytelling, a time of tradition and rememberance. As I slide towards the mid-point of the year I’m increasingly aware of the shadows, of empty spaces and the loss of those who’ve gone before. I feel the distant, depleted energy of previous life forces and the emptiness inside where once I was filled. Yet, unusually for me, I do not struggle against this natural ebb and flow of energy, I accept that this is how things are, this is how things are meant to be. There is a peace in letting go, which today has become as natural as shedding leaves. It’s time to wait, to settle down, pull in strengths and sleep in order to get ready for the spring awakening. Soon the days will lengthen, the earth will burst with new life and hearts will beat just that little bit faster. But for now, I wait and remember…
I recently watched Water for Elephants and remembered that awkwardness and excitement of falling in love for the first time. The hesitation and uncertainty that I wouldn’t know enough or be good enough to please, but the quickening of breath and electrified skin that over-rode the doubts. The tenderness and concern, the feelings of invincibility and that nothing would ever change. Such precious naivety, such a shame it didn’t last.
I remember falling in love again after my divorce and feeling that this time, things would be different. They were. Naivety had been replaced by cynicism and mis-trust; tenderness and concern slept with one eye open and a hand on the door. What should have been a coming together eventually became a battle-plan of escape routes, digging trenches and erecting electrified fences. Now I feel an overwhelming tenderness for the potential that was lost, for the girl with dreams and quickened breath. She’s come a long way and I’m proud of her.
I wrote this poem a while ago and it was a finalist in Poetic Republic’s MAG poetry competition 2011.
Echoes of You
Echoes of you visited me today
in the rain whispering at my window.
Cats’ paws of wind chasing leaves
in the garden uncovered shadows of your smile
and the nothing around me turned cold.
Last week, light pricking through lace
curtains of air carried smells of sex,
and night, bumping against bricks,
left sounds of your laughter, splintering
the surface of my sleep.
This morning I found beads of dreams
abandoned under the kitchen sink.
I cannot bring myself to tidy them away
so leave them for spiders to play with
and return to my cobwebbed existence.
I’m pleased to announce Mrs Haversham has dusted off her cobwebs, has settled down in front of the fire and is patiently waiting for spring.