We celebrated my husband’s birthday with two friends on an October afternoon just before twilight changed the world and plunged us into the dark of a complete lockdown that carried on right through the night of long winter months.
The landscapes of my external world became smaller, restricted, whilst those of my internal world expanded into poetry. I am certain that the beauty of the changing light and the sea outside my window played a considerable part in keeping me working and keeping me sane.
I carried on writing though I did not finish the book I had intended to put out before Christmas. Instead I shelved it temporarily, giving the inspiration time to breathe, replanting it like a seed in the soil of imagination, where it developed a few new shoots and even a new title.
At the beginning of summer, my cup is filling with enthusiasm again, as my project is once more enlivened in the light of the rising sun. Next time I meet up with the other 5 people in my writing circle we shall be outside in a green growing garden, instead of peering at each other’s faces in little boxes on Zoom. Now don’t get me wrong, Zoom has been a marvellous tool for staying in touch during lockdown, but I find virtual meetings a poor substitute for the company of real live people interacting with each other in an earthy space. A simple pleasure we once took for granted is now something to appreciate and celebrate.
May summer bring you new energy and enthusiasm.
AT DAWN AND TWILIGHT
THOSE MAGIC IN-BETWEEN HOURS
WHEN THE WORLD CHANGES
This year, the summer solstice has blessed us with two glorious days of brilliant sunshine. Now in the late afternoon of the 22nd June, I am relaxing on my balcony after a trip to the annual Victorian Fayre in Llantwit Major. I have enjoyed the bustle of the crowds and the street entertainment but now, around 5pm, I have entered a peaceful haven, where the air is totally still, where a strange silence hangs over the ocean and the garden at the back of this apartment block. Even the gulls sail by without a sound and everyone seems to have gone out with the tide. This solstice has an extraordinary quality of light which invokes that feeling I sometimes experience of sitting in a painting, like a figure on a sunlit canvas with an artist painting the sky and the sea in several delicate shades of blue and grey, with clouds as downy and motionless as sleeping swans. This masterpiece has an atmosphere of rare calm that brings contentment. The days will gradually get shorter now but even so there is still the promise of a whole summer ahead of us and time outside.
The wheel of the year has turned through the spring equinox, the clocks have been put forward and the light has changed. The World is renewed and we have a chance to move on if we are so inclined.
I open up my senses to warmer air, increased birdsong, the feeling of growth beneath my feet, as our mother the Earth gives birth to a bright abundance of flowers like light bursting skyward back towards the sun that first warmed their seeds. It’s a time of renewed hope, of creative and personal possibility, responsibility towards the planet that sustains us, a time to begin new projects and to look forward to the promise of celebration that summer brings. I for one, have been inspired to write several poems and to write down headings for a new creative writing project that is neither fiction nor poetry and which I hope will be a quick flowing stream by the time of the summer solstice. More about this later if everything goes to plan and the muse is good to me.
After the Storm*
On spring’s edge I awake in sunshine
Golden warm and light upon my face
And bright Cardiff Bay sharp glittering
After the rage of gale and white storm
When the air rings and sings with birds
When silent hideaway time has ended
Icy snow transforms in rippling rivulets
And yet a strange sense of quiet descends
Beyond the bird and windsong in the trees
Like the world and I are both washed clean
And something in my space has changed
A Scots pine supporting, holding as I see
An open door a lighter path, a brighter me.
*From The Starlit Door, 2018
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