Wednesday 16th November 2005
Wake up at 4.45am, my mind telling me in that soft quiet voice, 'get up, it's not good for you, get up and go to the loo, it's not good for you to ignore this.' So I get up and can hardly open my eyes I've been in such a deep dream-filled sleep. When I do, the light of the full moon is so bright, the hills seem to be glowing.
Then they glisten, twinkling at me.
I thought it was just a hard frost, but it had snowed. Cool white crystal languishing over all the fields and trees, inviting the moon to pluck sparkles from it.
It is breathtakingly beautiful in the silence of the house, the faint howl of the wind outside adding to the unreality I'm enjoying. Synapses firing, all old routines gone, Glory everywhere.
I go back to bed, under the duvet for the first time since I've been here, and it's snugly and warm. Cat free zone this night. I sleep for a few more hours and waken to the sound of an early morning story being told 'we have twenty minutes.' Snuggling time caught in the morning, mother and son. They are adorable together.
I listen in, partly, but am mesmerised by the pink dawn rippling through the lace of ice on the skylight. I take soft pink photographs of it. Dawn through the ice. Unique and delicate. The Divine everywhere. Silent and glorious. Beautiful and instant.
We all three get up and trail in the dance of getting downstairs. The cats gather about us hoping for something more appealing than the dried cat food. They are mostly disappointed, but it never stops them hoping. Fabulous teachers, cats.
I sit in the primo cat seat, and have my banana and dates on toast as the world goes on around me. Boots and jackets and where's the homework? I sit in slow motion, a different timeslip as they whirl in their routine, and in my privileged slowed down position I see the warrior dance of mother teaching son. In the putting on of a boot, full of suspected beetles (transpiring to be killer cornflakes) and how to pull up and hold onto the lining, fastening it first. Doing one boot for him, then letting him to the other, so he learns two things.
That he is independent.
And that he is loved.
They are adorable together and in my slowed down time, I can see it. The making of a man, in the putting on of a boot.
The robin comes to help himself to the chicken food. He is very cherry bright in the snowy dawn light. I get three photos before he's off. Then the rooster and the drake come along on patrol, chatting. The rooster is the 'Mary' out of this Rhoda and Mary couple. When they eat, he pecks the drake on the back of the head to get him out of his way. The drake is Rhoda, and has her colouring.
I always preferred Rhoda to Mary.
One of the gardeners peaks in and tells me I seem brighter every day. I do feel that too, amongst the waves, the sensations, the pulse of my body, getting used to this new circulation. I feel the cold so much more than usual. The fragile feeling still with me. I like it, it makes me feel like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, or Jane Eyre. Today I'm tired and feel quiet. A bit sad. I dreamed of another gardener, running in a field with a son. By her. Even in my dreams I can torture myself, but remembering it, I didn't mind all that much. If only reality could be dismissed as easily as dreams. I suspect it was the photo of Kate Bush's wee boy on her album that did it. CD2 is more and more glorious.
Shower escapade knackers me. Not so much the shower or the lovely oils I've brought to give my skin a treat. It's the DVT stockings. Thick, white and very tight, all the way to the top of your thighs, no in-flight knee-highs these. They are so elasticated I can't get them on by myself, bad for the sliced stomach muscles. It's like Elizabeth the First getting dressed in the morning. Scent of rose oil, stockings being rolled up and snapped on to giggles and me collapsing in a heap afterwards. It's exhausting. I listen to my iPod meditation and a bit of the book until 10.30, then I go outside.
Two ten minute walks a day, today in the biting cold, I am so feeling it more than usual, and the morning disappears into a snooze and an interesting read. 'Labyrinth.' Just the right pace and content for a day like today. The hailstones start about 11am. Bouncing down the rockery like snowboarders.
It's a good day to buy a Winter coat, this afternoon's expedition, and we're looking after a baby while mum gets her 30th birthday haircut done. What a shame, the sleet is so heavy. Not a good day for a new hairdo.
I wait for them in the cafÃ© and the sage comes in sporting his new coat, red. We decided two days ago that would be the best colour for the Winter.
"Where's your mum?"
"Changing the baby."
"That's taking an awfully long time."
"Yes, you have to wipe their bottoms. Not with your hand or anything."
"Maybe with the coat of an old lady standing in front of you?"
"Just wipe the baby and down on the wall?"
"or on the curtains.
It's nice giggling with a child. He shows me his two new hats, one a court jester sort of thing, he's very chuffed.
I'm looking at him, so tiny and his personality so strong and unique, enjoying our growing relationship as he comes out of his shell with me, and I ask him,
"What's your earliest memory?
"Earliest¦ he thinks for a minute. "The day I was born.
"Really? What is it you remember? Is it a vision or a sound or a smell?
"A vision. I remember crying when I came out and then being in my mother's lap.
I asked, "Do you remember learning to walk?
"Yes, I did it on the third time.
"How did you feel?
"Proud I suppose, but I didn't know it meant that.
The moon is out as we drive back over the country roads, and it's spectacular, a few clouds adding to the twilight blue panorama. Then suddenly, it's pitch black. We drop the sage off at his friends house and come back home to make fish for tea. It's a freezing night and haircut mum and dad pick up the baby, who was so placid, half the time, I forgot she was there, except when she banana-sneezed on me when I was feeding her.
The evening scrolls in and it's early night time. Time for bed. Two cats to chase out the room. My work here is never done.