Yesterday evening I was on my way to bed after a busy and eventful day.
We’d walked back over the road once more and up into the treeline on the hill opposite our home. It’s all changed since last week. There is an air of Summer’s end in sight.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, the sky is still blue (most of the time) and there is glorious growth in abundance everywhere – not least in the field where, just a few months ago there were hundreds of sows and their tiny piglets, now there’s a sea of corn (we call it maize here in the UK). Every time we walk past, I am reminded of Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams… ‘If you build it, they will come!’.
The white house across the as-yet-unharvested field of barley sits contemplating each moment at it passes, like a sentry, checking all the comings and goings of the season.
Gnarled branches are a-buzz with bees’ gossip, as they shelter from the audacious zephyr that whips my hair into my eyes as we walk.
Haystacks stand, neatly assembled, sentinels of straw, marking the changing season’s zenith with stately pride. The wind whips straw snippets into tiny eddies, as if to remind the Earth of its’ power. The Earth listens, as the most attentive student, eager to drink in all that Mother Nature has to offer.
But the berries on the hawthorn and on the brambles speak of a turning of the wheel of time. As apples and chums* ripen on their branches, we move ever forward into the light, mindful that these dog days of Summer are almost at an end.
Our march takes us on past the treeline, up into the woods. Past the ripening apples, deeper into the densely wooded paths. On, ever travelling up towards the light.
Magical orbs of sunlight dapple the path, casting a spellbinding aura over our venture. I am calmed yet excited – there truly is magic everywhere I look. Our walk this afternoon is meant to distract me from the interminable waiting whilst my friend across the ocean weaves the final strand in the web of surprise that we have all been planning for over a month. This magical light now heightens my sense of anticipation, as if the very earth beneath my feet is counting the seconds as they tick by. ‘Are we there yet?’ Nature seems to ask.
As we begin our return, we pause momentarily at a high-point on the hill, looking back over the Vale, drinking in the enchanting view. My unsettled mind is temporarily sated as I project my gaze around the bucolic scene.
It lasts until we almost reach the busy road, when the traffic impinges upon my sense of composure; now I am eager to return to Cyberspace, to find out if the deed is yet done. Are we there YET?
Settled back at my desk, I click to the place I know I’ll find answers – Lisabel (Ms Dingle’s new nickname, having achieved this glorious subterfuge so successfully) is not there yet. I check back every couple of minutes. No, not yet. This waiting is utterly interminable…
And then the words appear on my screen. ‘Hi’.
We all know she’s arrived. It’s going to take her a few minutes to set the scene up properly. I start downloading my photos, so that I have something to DO whilst I wait for these final moments.
And then a video is posted. It is 2 minutes and 34 seconds long. Several people beat me to watching it and the exclamations are, as expected, of sheer delight and wonder and happiness and joy. I excitedly click to watch.
Well, actually, the black rectangle where the video should be remains blank.
Several kind people try to help me but, no dice. The Universe is telling me to learn the lesson of patience. It’s a lesson I doubt I will ever truly *get*.
There’s only one thing for it. Switch off and back on again. Twice.
And finally, FINALLY, I was able to share in the joy.
The Creative Group at Bedlam Farm have been plotting to find a way to give something back to the group’s creator, Jon Katz, who had (unexpected) heart bypass surgery only a few short weeks ago. We all felt that we could work a little magic for him and his inspirational wife, Maria Wulf, to help them recover from this ordeal. The decision to offer them a spot of Disney magic seemed perfect. I’ll let you read about the gift from Jon’s perspective (click on his name to find the link to his side of the story) but for us, the wait was over and the magic had been performed. I am really delighted to have been a very tiny part of that magic.
So, difficult as it was to drag myself away, I decided to retire to bed – we are five hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time in the US. I was pleased beyond measure at what had been achieved.
As I started to draw my bedroom curtains, high up above the treeline that we had been exploring earlier shone a miraculous, magnificent, magical moon.
All thoughts of my bed flew from my mind as I raced to locate my camera and tripod. I had to turn my computer back on to check how to adjust the settings for my task – to
photograph the moon and the night sky more effectively than I’ve managed before. I set the camera up and captured my first picture. Thirty seconds of exposure – that’s a very long time – gave me this view. To me, it seems to glow as bright as the very Sun it reflects.
To take my second picture required a change of lens. As I turned my back on the moon something caught my eye in the Northern sky behind the dark shadow of my house.
A shooting star! The first one that I have ever seen myself!
Magic happens. It happens all the time. All around us.
I made my wish upon a star and stood delightedly staring at the awesome night sky, as each of the billions of stars revealed their cosmic presence.
There was the glorious constellation of Ursa Minor – the Great Bear. Also known as The Plough, The Big Dipper, Saptarshi Mandal, the Northern Ladle, The Butcher’s Cleaver, the Grober Wagon and a dozen other names in every country on this Earth. Such a clear, uninterrupted view across billions of miles.
How can one not feel the magic of the Universe when we gaze in wonder at the skies above us?
Yes, I was wishing upon every star last night.
I hope that some of my wishes might come true.
Thanks for reading!
*... ooh, I nearly forgot to tell you about the chums! We cannot decide if they are a type of cherry or a type of plum – we’ve had horticulturalists, gardeners, cookery experts and all sorts of folk tell us they don’t know what these fruit are, but as they taste like a cross between a cherry and a plum and they make fabulous jam, we call them ‘Chums’. Hope that helps!