Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Clouds in my head

Sometimes life just seems to come up and bite you on the arse doesn’t it? Just as this year seemed to be settling into an easy rhythm with only the usual day to day worries of work, money, what’s for supper and where did I leave me boots this time to trouble me, something’s happened that just filled my head with dark clouds and sombre thoughts. I’ll not burden you with detail, it’s enough just to say that my father is going into hospital this Thursday to have what basically amounts to a live or die operation. Now I consider myself a fortunate person who’s life has not experienced to much tragedy, but the thought of my father perhaps being taken away really has had a profound affect upon me and coping so far has not been easy, and this is before the operation!

Waking up this morning the clouds were there cramming my mind with all sorts of thoughts, questions and what ifs? I really didn’t what to do anything, just lie there in bed, ponder and wait. But I’m also I lucky man who has been fortunate enough to have married the one person who knows me inside out and is the true connotation of the words ‘soul mate’, my Clare. She’s was working so she was up early, knowing that I’m not sleeping that well and talking even less well she skipped around any reference to Thursday, placed a steaming mug of tea by the bed, gently kissed me and left for work, leaving the bedroom door ajar (bungalow so all rooms on the ground), as well as leaving the back door wide open. As I lay there thinking morose thoughts and letting the clouds darken in my head, the smell of hot tea tickled my nostrils, wafted by the draft from the back door and mixing with the outdoor smells of a clear morning. Outdoors I thought, maybe, just maybe I’ll get up and go for a sornter. You know what?, that bloody dog, I swear, is telepathic! No sooner had the idea of outdoors squeezed its way past those clouds then the bog monster snuffled her way past the bedroom door (no longer ajar now!) and hurled herself upon the bed attacking me with that damn tongue until I had no choice but to throw myself out of the pit. Yep, I’ve got to admit Clare really does know how to make me shake a leg without any harsh words, just subtle deeds.

So an hour or so later one happy hound and her dishevelled companion are ‘out there’ upon the trails once more. The weather was absolutely stunning and nature was screaming at full volume welcoming spring. But for the first part of the trail this went by totally unnoticed, even if one of the ‘wild big cats’, that have been recently reported to have been sighted once more, had crossed my path I don’t think that I’d have battered an eyelid, for the clouds still filled my head and I was just basically walking on automatic.
But my feet led me upon a path unfamiliar and new, a recent trail reopened by the forestry commission and leading via a short, sharp, climb to a forgotten trig point. As I gained the top the views that greeted me were, well, just spellbinding, a 360 degree vista of unparalleled beauty. As I came to rest on the trig point something happened that I can safely say will never happen again, a buzzard (a raptor that always fills my soul with joy and yearning) alighted on the ground not 5 yards from my feet, we held each others gaze for eternity and then it was gone sliding down the slope of the hill until gaining an updraft and circling away to Moel Famau in the distance.

You think this exaggerated?, in the mood that I’m in presently, exaggerating tales to gain peoples favour is one of the furthest thoughts from my mind. It happened and it probably will never happen to me again, ever. Photographs, I’ll just say one thing Doh! Never the less the moment filled me with wonder and for the first time in sometime true joy. So the ramble continued with a certain individual enjoying her now famous (infamous?) pastime of bog wallowing. (Oh yes, plenty of pictures of that), and with me at last opening my eyes to the world around me.

Along a narrow trial, just on a crest a grey squirrel squatted in full view preening his ears, Lucy was some distance into the trees heading totally the other way. Ah thought I, a decent photograph for my friends in Blogsville beckons, forest, wildlife and sunny weather at last they will pour high praise upon my prowess of photographic and stalking skills, I mean to say hero worship and all that beckoned. Steady now compose yourself John, centre the subject, zoom in a tad more, just wait for that head to turn ever so slightly and wait, wait, wait and click. And below is the fine result of seconds of patient crouching:-

Yep she’d done it again, somehow gaining the trail well ahead of me and then hurtling along it back towards me at break neck speed the swine of a dog came flying over the brow and the pesky little vermin exited stage right, sometimes….. so if you want stunning wildlife photography just e-mail me and I’ll give you list of fellow bloggers including such as Wandering Owl, Butch and many others, just not me! But to be honest if anything the worst that Lucy had done was to lift my spirits, I found myself laughing out loud and my steps back to the fun cruiser were all the lighter for her.

Yes the clouds are still there, though not as dark – after all I’m only human. But there’s something, well, something wholesome about nature and about being part of her and her cycles. She heals and sooths like nothing else that I know. I still have to face Thursday and the aftermath, whatever it may be, but I’ll face it straight on and no matter what the outcome you’ll find me out there, eventually. Tomorrow I’m going fishing, first time in a long time, perhaps I’ll tell you about it…………….


2 Tramps said...

Our thoughts are with you... Getting outside helps, as does spending time with beloved pets.

Tovar Cerulli said...

Hey, John. I'll be thinking of you and your father.

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

May God be with your Dad and help him to come through the operation successfully.
I lost my Dad 2 years ago. Make sure you tell him how you feel before the operation. Don't hold back. I did. Everything will be okay.

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

For what it is worth, I know the dark clouds you speak of. Be strong, hold good thoughts.

Well wishes are aimed your way.

Wolfy said...

First and foremost - our thoughts and prayers go out for your Dad's successful surgery and recovery.

I, for one, beleive that nature has a way of sensing our needs. Is it an unseen aura? Some cosmic thing? I have no idea what it is, but I've heard about (and , to a lesser degree, experienced) unusual things in the outdoors when going through a rough patch. Animals just know, as evidenced by your buzzard. there's no logic to it - it just happens. The skies part and a rainbow appears, ...

Again - my thoughts go out to your Dad



Anonymous said...

Hey John -

I'm wishing your father and you all the best of luck in the next few days.

Me thinks you are read very well by the ones closest to you - Clare, Lucy, and the buzzard. I believe you; I believe things like that happen a lot, but most folks don't catch it or want to believe it.

And I also believe the close-knit web that is wove around you is strong enough to weather whatever elements.

I pray that all goes well.

Peace, friend.

Bill said...

John I hope all goes well with your fathers surgery and hope it has a positive outcome. Nothing is better for the soul than some time well spent outdoors, even the bog monster knows that. Sounds like she managed to put a smile on your face even with the given situation. Keep your spirits up and think positive thoughts.

Le Loup said...

As usual, a bl**dy good post. I totally believe you about the buzzard, I have had many close encounters with wildlife and especially birds over the years. Why they visit some of us and not others I won't venture to say, but people have told me it is because I am a part of my enviroment, just another animal. Could be so.
My Father died when I was 14000 miles away, and I was very upset. My Father would give me praise for hard work, but never a hug. I grew up working as that was all that pleased him. Aventually of course I rebelled, tired of working 7 days a week since I was 14 years of age.
Did I love my parents? I am not sure to be honest, but when they died I felt that I had lost my chance to tell them how I felt. They both did their best with what they had to work with, and I was never beaten. But in regards to my own family, I have tried not to be like my Father. Even so things were left unsaid and that I will regret for the rest of my life.
I hope your Father pulls through John. But don't leave things unsaid.

Leigh said...

I have read back over this a few times in just a matter of hours after you posted it. It is so Beautiful!
I hope that all works out with your father as well. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

All the way from Idaho comes this prayer for your father that his operation goes well and that those dark clouds will soon be gone and you and the bog monster will once again be free in the outdoors.

Murphyfish said...

Just like to say thank you all for your kind words and support.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

we're reaching that age where these situations are forced upon us, my thoughts are with you fella, what can I say beyond Hold Fast

PS just like Le Loup said best get 'em said while we can still say those things to an audience. Harsh but true.