It's the early hours of Monday morning. I am awake listening to the weather build in energy, grow in ferocity outside. I can hear voices, screams, in the wind...like banshees. It had started suddenly this evening, the wind seemed to come out of nowhere, unbidden, without warning. Just after the bee came in to our conservatory - I say a bee but it was more like an incoming furry missile. I have never seen a bee that big before - we could hear it's drone the other side of the house and found it desperately trying to find it's way back outside, bumping angrily and ineffectively against the glass in each window-pane it frustratingly encountered. I love bees, we all do, so we weren't afraid, just concerned about him, we wanted to get him out so he could be free again.
As I've mentioned before in other posts, I also believe bees heading for you, or being in the house, means news is coming - '...the size of him it will be 'big' news', our son decides. 'Go grab a sheet of A4 paper that I can lift him out of here on', my husband tells our son. 'Really?', I enquire, this bee is huge, he will be too heavy for the paper. And sure enough the paper bends under the weight of this majestic fellow and we can see his legs work overtime to get a grip as my husband gently carries him to the open door, and, as he feels the breeze, the bee lets go of the paper and flies off, high, in to the sky. 'Do you remember the Bee Rescue Service?', I ask our son as we watch the furry dark figure become just a dot and then disappear from our view. 'Oh no mum - how do you always remember the things that embarrass me...?', he moans. He must have been six or seven when he developed the 'BRS' - cards were printed and handed out to his friends and he would move resting bees out of harms way. We even saw one at a car show room, while we were busy asking details about a car we were interested in, our son was busy moving a bee from in front of the wheel of a car parked in the customer bay. He had seen the bee land, just after the person got out of the car, and stay in the shadow of the massive tyres and he was scared they would run it over, so he moved it to the bushes nearby. I could just see he was up to something as a member of staff came out to ask what he was doing lurking by the car... As it turned out, she too loved bees and they became lost in conversation as the customer returned to their car and gave both of them a look that was more about incredulity than understanding I felt.
But back to my restless night. I had already felt their were 'portents' about, that energies were all over the place, it had just 'felt' an odd sort of day. Now the air seemed full of threat, not of promise as the warm wind had brought a few days ago. If I was superstitious I would say something was coming, 'something wicked this way comes...' I muse out loud. 'It's already here ', my husband says almost to himself, almost, under his breath, almost, quietly, but I hear him and I understand. These are troubled times indeed. Outside the wind recedes, but it is a false lull, it regroups and attacks again, determined, harrying, looking for a weakness, for a way in, seeking, angry, violent...whipped up out of nowhere like a malevolent crowd. And still I lie awake - 'it's an ill wind that blows no good...,' I keep thinking, hoping maybe, and I shiver.
My thoughts turn to the countryside outside our window that is held in thrall to this storm - I think of the nesting birds and sinewy trees hoping to withstand its force. We have been watching 'The lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit', and the description of the Shire always makes me think of our Shires, of Shropshire and Herefordshire - '...soft rolling hills and little streams...'. I love the land and the connection I feel to it and the animals that call it home too. But if this were a film I would wish I could fast forward it, if it were a book I would wish I could turn to the last page of our story, to see how this ends... I do this often and my puzzled, and in turn exasperated and perplexed husband, often asks why I do it. I don't know really, but I have stopped doing it so often under his steady glare, I mean gaze. Now I wonder if it is to make sure the characters I like are still there at the end of the book, or I may not continue reading, not wishing to learn what ill befalls them. Maybe I am protecting myself. I want to know, to check, to control. I don't want to endure the emotional pain or sense of loss, I will not take the literary journey if I cannot enjoy the certainty of the fate of those characters I like... So I wish I knew now how this story ends...that I had turned to the last page and read all were safe.
The wind has blown itself out now - now the rain comes. Heavy, storming the windows, pounding brick and woodwork like hammer blows. Another assault, loud, running rivulets escape from overflowing gutters, sinuous drops bounce off the sills - it all feels unnatural, it offers no comfort, instead it disturbs, growing louder, more rowdy and unruly, like gathering hooligans full of swagger and bloated with intent or malcontent. It hurls itself like handfuls of pebbles at the glass of the windows, as if it's angry the house stands at all. It feels as if we are under attack. The noise of the rain gets louder, like a mad pianist at a discordant concert crashing to a crescendo and then quickly dipping (dripping) away...only to gather again with so many different notes I strain to make them all out as in an intricate but challenging piece, with different depths, pitch and tone. Yet still I follow it's mad tempo, exhausted and emotional, I feel I am a captive audience, held hostage, hijacked, kept prisoner by it's relentless, ceaseless nature. It feels like a destructive force - it's energy full of hate and bile. It's late, well early morning, but still I cannot sleep - it will not let me, it demands my attention like a petulant performer determined to deliver a full repertoire.
Now the wind returns, in the distance this time, and again I shiver. It blows in the background, supporting the rain, driving it on - ghostly, ethereal its accompaniment. It feels as if it is cursing us with an urgent breath, there is a haunting quality that leaves you cold, feeling unfulfilled, joyless, on edge and washed out. Locked on an unwanted emotional journey together, an unwilling witness to this performance, not ready for the violence unleashed, the feelings of dread it triggers. A concert made to intimidate, making use of many and varied dramatic inflections, bearing you along on every leap, burst and rattle as you hope for it to end. Our emotions play along, tossed on the waves of adrenalin inducing noise, we are wrung out following... When will it end? When will it subside, reduce, calm? More rain lashes the windows in unsympathetic answer, spluttering on the roof tiles as the wind whistles and dances behind it, enjoying itself at our expense (literally if the roof tiles are blown off again...).
More rain is hurled at the window with such force and violence that I begin to wonder if it is not thrown by somebody or something that hates us...or is angry at us. The noises coming from the house, the creaks and groans, remind me of a ship, the wood moaning in the thick of a storm as the waves roll it about, an insignificant plaything in the wild gale. It feels like I am adrift on the high seas on this windswept, rain soaked ship, I seek shelter in its depths, but I am not alone. In my distress my husband reaches for me in the night, asks me if I am alright. Still I sit on the edge of the bed unable to lie back down, still the house moans under the abuse meted out to it from the driving wind and rain. Still I feel I am aboard the ship battling to stay afloat, to weather the storm, each deluge dropped from on high, the rain whipped in to a frenzy lashing the little vessel as it creaks its protest to the mocking elements.
Relentless the storm. Dogged the little ship, determined to stay afloat on uncompromising seas that would swamp it. And forlorn and intimidated I sit bedraggled, the unwilling witness, unsure of what this all means or heralds. Deep in to the night it goes on, until the rain exits and the wind again has its solo. I fall in to a fitful sleep, unsettled I sail on in my dreams, hunkered down on the brave little ship. Never once do I think of reaching shore, of my destination, my thoughts are only of getting through this, withstanding this. Its as if I and the storm are bound together...I start in my sleep, unsure of where I end and the storm begins...we are as one now, in our rage and anger, and I have felt my despair in its wake.
However, I have also felt the reassurance of love in the darkness..., I am only alone if I make myself feel it is so... Possibly that is the greater threat...