Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Dark thoughts

This evening we completed our usual exploration of the valley at night. Primo hops about and I walk trusting that I don't put my foot down a rabbit hole.

Night walking is a pleasure - the darkness is cool and the skyscape more easily gets to play centre stage. Tonight there were plenty of stars out quite early, the moon was not making herself known and around the edges of my sky was a tinge of blood redness near where the sun had set. It was in this environment that we paced the fields.

The first minute or so of walking is based on trust and memory. My body seems to know where some things are to be avoided. After about a minute sometimes sooner depending how relaxed I am on starting out, I can see quite a bit.

Primo glows in the dark. No really he does. He doesn't glow outrageously as if he has quaffed Delboy's radioactive juice, but about every 6th hair seems to have an iridescent quality.  He twinkles sometimes against the snow when it has reached  the 3rd  frozen day - the glistening point.

When there is very little light I am not sure how I can see him but sometimes I just can, across the other side of the fields or running along a hedgerow. We share an awareness despite distance.

In the dark all the other senses awaken, the eyes are not bad without sunlight and still perform a function but the ears tune up. And the feel of the air across your face and any other bareskin all communicate different things. Breathing  is quite a different experience and provides lots of information. Breathing in cool air somehow goes beyond the lungs and straight to the soul.  Refreshment. It is a great time for thinking, there is a space and peacefulness to the darkness that allows a deep contemplation, of the big things and the little, the trivial and the serious. The darkness somehow gives a  long term perspective, long term as in aeons. Perhaps that is the presence of the sky and the immediacy of the message that everything is transient and the moment, NOW is to be explored and lived.

One evening a dark moonless winter night we were out walking. Primo was doing his thing, trotting back and forth, sniffing the ground, whiffling at the air, raising an ear here and there. Simultaneously paying attention and carefree - an enviable state. He was quite a way off and I was not near a path. I had paused to watch an odd movement in the air. I could sense, rather than see, darkness coming towards me   It was a very odd sensation and then about 4 metres away from me I realised there was a man approaching climbing upwards and further behind his black dog.  He seemed  very surprised to see me there, perhaps at the last minute for him. He had been concentrating on his dog. I had known something was coming towards me but didn't understand what. Air and the darkness was moving, but I couldn't hear footsteps in the grass. He looked up startled, there was a person right in front of him - me. I remarked that it was good to know there were others as mad as myself that paced the fields in the night time. He managed to laugh and admit that it was a kind of madness, relaxed finally and then moved on. The dog, a bossy black labrador, spent a cursory few seconds checking me out then sought out Primo for a serious and thorough sniffing session.

This evening there was light somehow, in the darkness without a moon.  Spring is evident even in the night time.  I could see from field to field, as the breeze hit my face like cool water on hot thoughts.

My trust to not find rabbit holes with my feet was rewarded again, but on returning home later I have noticed that Primo appears to be walking with a limp. He is favouring a leg. I buttered his paw to encourage him to explore for thorns and perhaps a nights rest will help.

Tomorrow we may be visiting the vets.

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