I don’t remember experiencing the extremes of excessive daylight as a very young child – probably because I lived in Barbados until I was eight years old. So the first time that I noticed the days getting longer would have been the Spring of 1970, when I was coming up to nine years old. I couldn’t believe what my mother was telling me – soon it would be light when I had to go to bed and getting to sleep when it’s still light outside can be very difficult, especially when you’re nine and not used to this whole idea. It turned out that, like most things, she was right. For months that summer, I simply lay awake in my trundle bed, staring at the still gloriously light evening sky until well past my eight-thirty bedtime.
It was like some kind of celestial miracle to me. As if the heavens were divulging at least part of their mystery to us mere mortals. I’m sure that for a short while I even believed that I was the only person (apart from my own mother) who could see the luminous evening sky, which could only mean one thing of course. I was a celestial being of some description.
Perhaps I was an angel.
Evidence to the contrary included decidedly un-angelic buck-teeth, straggly, wispy and totally unmanageable plain, boring brown rats-tails for hair (as opposed to shining locks of pure gold that all angels depicted in books seemed to possess) and a decidedly devilish disposition that usually led me far from the ‘right path’, so that teachers, classmates and neighbours frequently ‘tut-tutted’ at my latest Mephistophelian escapade. Plus, I was a girl who *liked* playing football. And for *liked* read *obsessed over, largely because I possessed some wicked ball control skills*. Goodness knows, THAT was a crime in the early ’70s! Of course, I grew out of it eventually, but if things had been different, I’d have been winning the World Cup for England, no doubt about it.
So, not an angel then.
What about a fairy then?
Fairies, according to all of my literary experience (which was actually quite extensive – I spent all my pocket money on Enid Blyton books and simply adored The Green Goblins, otherwise known as ‘Tuppenny, Feefo and Jinks’), were undoubtedly real creatures who along with pixies, imps, goblins, sprites, naiads and nymphs help humans to stumble through their short lives on this planet, usually by leading them (unwittingly) to finding Utopian health, wealth and happiness. Fairies were always depicted in my story books as petite little girlies, with very beautiful, often cherubic faces, long slim fingers and tiny, nipped-in waistlines. A look in the mirror, even at this tender age, would have confirmed this was an unlikely option for me. I even tried ballet classes – which I persuaded my impoverished mother to send me too somehow. I just wanted to wear a pink leotard and fluffy, frivolous tutu so that I could look like a fairy too. Unfortunately, all the other little girls in the pre-primary grade class were a good six years younger than me and I left the first lesson feeling like the proverbial elephant in the room. Possibly, I actually WAS the elephant in the room, come to think of it…
So, not a fairy either.
And no matter what kind of supernatural being I imagined my self to be, there always seemed to be a firm, down-to-earth and ultimately obvious explanation for my fantasies to lead me to the conclusion that I was just plain daft.
Of course, later on when I hit the last year in Primary School (if memory serves me correctly) I did a project on the planets and discovered the real reasons for the differing lengths of days in the Northern (and Southern of course, although we didn’t investigate them – it WAS the 70’s people and England remained massively egocentric at that time!) which was to do with the physical rotation of the ground that we walk upon around the actual physically entity in our sky – the sun – so once again, my childish fancies were dashed, my demiurgic self quashed under the weight of reality. Ah, Enid, I could no longer inhabit your cosmos of chaotic creativity, such was the shame of it.
But I’ve never lost my sense of wonder when I look at the evening skies, particularly as they grow shorter each day towards the zenith of the Summer Solstice. The magic of that event each year is palpable. As every evening during May and then June, I am usually to be found doing the rounds of my living flora in the garden, watering, offering sustenance, talking or communing with my plants like a certifiably crazy person, I find myself looking heavenwards at the inexplicable glory of the eventide. I let my inner infant loose and resume my musings on celestial beings. I find angels, fairies and a host of heavenly divinities sharing their glory in the distant skies.
A visit to Stonehenge some years ago left me in no doubt that there is more to this life than can ever be explained by whatever we can prove to be actual, or physically reality. There is a sense of something inexplicably intriguing, possibly simply a sense of history, for the ancient yet ageless stones in their magnificence stand against Time itself, revealing only mystery upon enigmatic conundrum, wrapped in puzzling secrecy. Why are they there? What caused them to be, at all? Who created them? Questions that are really about life itself. I love that about them.
So, today, in my nod to the vertex of the year (which was yesterday of course), I decided to look at them with a new perspective. Here are my orbs of some of the glories that show the sun rising at Stonehenge. I hope you find them peaceful.
Is it possible that I might be a wizard?
Once again, thanks for reading!