As I was walking along the bay the other evening, after a full day of stormy freezing squally winter rain, I was struck by the moodiness of the moment. I’ve always loved a good storm and the way that it can remind me that I am a living, breathing, thinking being.
The other evening, I had this real sense of how many parts there are to me, how many stories I have lived through or created – the library of me, so to speak. Some autobiographical, some high adventure and escapism, some read like a Greek tragedy, some are hilarious, some have been badly written, some beautifully, many have been written by others. Then there are the murder mysteries where I’ve killed off those ugly parts of me only to discover on a night that will be as dark and stormy as this one that they’re hiding in the hallway cupboard or under my bed. Then there is the epic love story that makes nights like this seem like all the waiting, distance, heartache and anguish were perfect… meant to be. (I’ve read Wuthering Heights!)
But in the main, I can now see looking back, that most are sturdy works of pure fiction, not based on fact at all. However, like all great fiction stories, they were well-researched and at the time very convincing, so convincing that at times I lived, breathed and ate nothing but their well-constructed storylines, believing them to be the passport to my enlightenment.
Back then, I would be seen nowhere near a beach on a windy, stormy night for the fear bordering on terror that a squall of wind would scatter my library to the four corners of the world, exposing me like the rocks on the beach the morning after the storm. Now I can stand there and shout “BRING IT ON!!!”, rejoicing in the knowledge that the pages in my books are written on the same templates that are handed to us all as we inhale our first breaths.
Standing there the other evening as the night closed in, extinguishing the last remains of the day, I felt vindicated for all the time I have spent attending to my library, re-reading, editing, deleting and then filing the remainder of the books in their correct time and place.
I think the thing I love the most about huge changes in our weather is that it can, if we are paying attention, provoke us out of our daily stupor and remind us that we are evolving beings with seasons just like the rest of life and land here on this earth and that the more we are separated from these, the more we pine for them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
There are more books to come and more walks to be had in winter storms no doubt, and all will be informed by the same brave heart and reckless courage that have kept me company in all that’s gone before.