Friday 5 March 2010
It has taken me nearly 5 hours to drive to Hopton Titterhill in South Shropshire. After busy Friday evening traffic, roadworks on the M1 and at Warwick, a stop at a service station and a generally steady, unrushed and hopefully petrol efficient drive I have finally made it. It is around half past midnight. A cloudy sky means that I can't see any stars but at least it means that the temperature will not get too near freezing tonight. I don't really want to sleep in the car when it is that cold.
A cool breeze gently waves through the tress on the hillside around me and the candle flame flickers wildly in its glass holder. At least it is dry and the wooden bench here feels welcoming. I've been looking forward to meeting it for several days and it is good to be back here again at night. The car park is well sheltered from the wind and I don't feel too cold.
Alone; with my drawing pad, pen and a candle. Just Being in this darkness that awaits the new dawn and my welcome to the landscape.
Today was my last day at my current work. Last week was an anxious time as I handed in my notice and, fortunately, this past week has passed by fairly quietly in the sense of 'if that is what he wants to do then so be it'. I can hardly believe it has happened. Now it is time to put the past three years to one side and begin a new path on my journey.
It feels strange to now be at this table. In the flickering candlelight I am surrounded by dense blackness and I can't make out anything of what is around me. The candle just lights me and my immediate surroundings. A long period of waiting and patience has passed by. I remember the kestrel I wrote about last year and how I distinctly felt it was giving me that word: patience. Now I am in the darkness of leaving. Just a candle flame to light me. Just the thought of the new light that will enter my life tomorrow. I have reached the edge - and now darkness. Almost death: the ultimate change. Here I am, dying to the old and awaiting the resurrection. I am in nature's womb - forming, changing, anticipating. The heartbeat of the candle burning to keep me alive and focused. The darkness around me reaches into the trees, into the sky and into the earth. I cannot see out of my womb, I can only hear the environment around me. I can feel it, through the firmness of the earth beneath my feet and the touch of the breeze upon my cheeks. I can smell the soil and the pine trees. Yet I can see nothing. Like my new job, I only have thoughts and ideas that play with the senses. I didn't bring my drum with me as it doesn't like the cold. Perhaps I should have done. An owl hoots in the woodland a distance away.
I look around, away from the candle light and it isn't ever really truly dark. The tress are just perceptively silhouetted against the grey sky. It is a touch windy and I can hear leaves rustling along the ground and occasionally the pages of my pad get lifted up. I must be careful not to get too cold. A new day awaits.