Saturday, 26 September 2015

farewell to a friend



51º 10’ north
 40’ west
wind, sea, farewell to a friend



They walked the length of the island.
They walked south to north

...and...

They listened to the wind
Didn't talk much
Listened to the sound of their boots on the granite gravel
Listened to their boots on the close cropped grass
Lost in the world around them
Lost in the world within

There were sheep
Lots of sheep
There was wind
Lots of wind
The wind was fierce but not cold
Sheep and wind
And boots on the ground and each other

They were listening for the sound of her voice on the wind
Where was she they thought...

...’I have a yellow flower’, he said, ‘and a white one’, he said...
‘White's good, yellow's pretty, too tiny to last the whole walk’...

‘I have a black pebble’, she said, ‘slate, and a white one, granite, another flat black and a piece of terracotta, rounded by the wind and the rain and the countless sheep that walk one after the other, away from the wind...
She picked a sprig of heather and put it in her pocket.

The quarter wall was behind them, the ruins of the old cottages of men and women of the quarry still held against the wind, granite windows and hearths where once fires  danced and warmed, gate shut, a raven rose in front of them to rest on the wall, wind ruffled feathers, beautiful black , shimmer of purple in the sun, a bird with a huge beak, a mourning bird, a mourning bird for Sandra.




...Sandra who left her body to be free...

The track filled with water, brown, peaty water , healthy to drink but not with sheep’s pee in it...the half way wall behind them, gate shut, she found a feather and some wool, ignored the bracken, adored the bracken, golden brown and fading purple heather and the yellow of the gorse, granite rocks and the deep blue sea....’bracken’...on the edge of the wind...

‘I have a feather’, she said...
‘Feather is good’, he said
‘I found some wool’...
...she wants me to pick bracken, she loves bracken...
‘I have picked some bracken’, she said, ‘pretty, curly, furly, perhaps she loved the colour’...

The ruin of the old hospital eastward, stark against the blue sky, the sun is warm on their cheeks. Crows flap across their path, Souay sheep graze westward into the wind, raucous call of the crows, three of them and the song of the wind...

 Their feet are heavy and their walk is slow, steady, and soon the three quarter wall is behind them, gate shut, muddy path and wild goats grazing eastwards upwind, startled as they approach them and they jump like gazelles over the tussocks...magnificent horns...an old lookout on our right where someone lives, they are high up on the island and the end is in sight...a deer ahead, shy, it disappears fast. She feels the gifts for Sandra in her pocket, dry dust on her fingers...as nature had left them...as she had found them...the wind blew hard , sea and sky were one, but for the sun that painted stars upon the teal blue water, sky holding...endless...holding...they walked on pure granite and at the end in the lee of towering rocks they stopped on soft grass and found just the right place that felt good, a gateway in the cliffs...
...where the sky met the sea and the sea met the land and spayed white foam on black rocks...



 Sandra, she called very quiet, barely audible on the wind, Sandra...


‘I have a flower’, said he
And she cast it to the wind
They stood close, together, aware...alive...reaching out...

‘Wool for the warmth of your clothing’...
‘Flat black’, she called out, ‘for all that ever hurt you, for all that you endured.’
‘Terracotta for all earthly things and two pebbles I found, one in black and the other in white, the yin and the yang, the yes and the no, the no and the yes, the yang and the yin’, and she hurled them into the gate of the sun and the wind and the sea...

‘Bracken’, she called,’ for all your wishes’...
...and...
...she cast the purple heather to the wind, ‘for the quest to find your truth’!

...and...

She let the wind take the feather...’angels by your side’...

‘Thank you for sharing a part of your gentle spirit with me, thank you for sharing a part of your life's path with me...may sea and wind carry you into the arms of the goddess...

...and...

...they stood still a moment more and then they turned, close...and she noticed her foot was hurting and it was a long way back...

...they left a white rock on a standing stone...



...and...
...walked on...

...they didn't talk much...
...they listened to the sound of their boots on the granite gravel...
...they listened to their boots on the close cropped grass...

lost in the world around them
lost in the world within

...they walked north to south...





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