Passing Through

I’m being brave today 🙂

My last post was about a walk on our mountain. Today I’m sharing with you a story I wrote about a different kind of mountain walk. Don’t panic – it’s flash fiction so only 500 words, and it’s fantasy so if you’d prefer to move on now that’s fine.

PassingThrough

Langford paused before reaching the top of the pass. Way down below his mates hunkered down in the forests afraid of the laughter they’d heard on the wind. He was not afraid and the tower would be his. Shaking out his cramping legs Langford struggled up the final slope careful not to set the scree sliding beneath him.

Up above him the skyline was clear, no more mountains beyond to disappoint. “Look at the sky. Don’t blink. Don’t look away.” He muttered to himself a hope, an incantation against what was about to happen. Every pass they had crossed should have been the last. The old scrolls said he should see the desolation stretching away into the distance guarded by the old witch’s tower. But no. Every time they had crested the watershed another range appeared. Every time they blinked.

This time he would not blink. This time it would be different.

Langford climbed into the gale blowing up from the other side. His eyes teared up and he blinked. And there was the mountain. And that voice in his head again laughing, “You’ll have to do better than that!”

“All right, I will!” he shouted into the wind. “I know your out there, Witch. I know who you are”.

Picking up a rock the size of his fist Langford angrily threw it out into the void and waited starting to count the seconds to try and work out how deep the valley was and how far he had to walk before the next mountain pass. But the rock didn’t fall it vanished.

Langford threw a second rock and a third and these also disappeared at the apex, never starting to fall. The rocks were folded into a nothingness as though slipping quietly through the surface of a lake.

Langford crouched in the lee of the ridge and wondered. He didn’t know if he envied his companions their modicum of safety or not. They’d been expecting to be attacked by creatures of the mountains and although they had heard the wild dogs in the distance none had ever approached – their howling had always seemed to come from behind. This voice in their heads was different, unreal, and it scared them all.

Langford stood again and looked out into the valley. Far below the endless sea of trees and gullies with their rushing streams, high above him the jagged outlines of the mountains against the clear blue sky. Frowning Langford thought the shape of those mountains looked familiar.

Casting around he found a rock that would roll, and sure enough it gathered speed and rolled on past the point where the barrier was. The barrier quivered briefly as the stone brushed its edges. It was not anchored to the ground.

Langford climbed to the ridge line and threw another rock, never taking his eyes from the point it disappeared. “I can do this,” he said and he gathered all his strength and leapt out into the void and broke her spell.

Mountain Morning

Yesterday we took some time away from our typical Saturday morning routine – shopping, washing, gardening, cleaning – you know general house type things. Our destination was the lower slopes of Mt Wellington and the walk up to New Town Falls. The photos we’d seen of it were quite pretty and there are also some geocaches to collect along the way. With rain forecast for the afternoon it was go now or put it off again.

Climbing up through the lower slopes was steep but the rushing stream was a pleasant distraction. The plaintive cry of a cockatoo interrupted the creek’s constant chattering. As we got higher the path became a walking track rather than a fire trail. The Old Hobartian hut ruins made a good break while we poked around. I love thinking about ruins wondering the who, what, why of their existence.

Our walk to the falls

Our walk to the falls

Further along the track as we walked from one gully to the next there were a few scraggly bushes of wattle blooming beside the path on the dryer slopes away from the creek.They say that somewhere in Australia no matter when it is you will find wattle blooming. I don’t know about that but there are certainly many different types. This one was creamy and pale rather than the more flamboyant bright yellow.

The falls themselves were a delight. Just sitting in the quite with the stream flowing over a rock shelf at our feel was restorative. I wanted to share some of that with you so here is a very short (20 second) video of the waterfall. Just a tiny one by world standards, but pretty, nevertheless. It was taken with my phone so forgive the hand movements and the vertical format, please.

 

Could you imagine yourself in the bush just sitting taking in the quite?

Do you have a favourite place or activity to break routine?

Until next time

A most delightful read

It’s been one of those months – you know the sort – where you’ve got a job to finish and it takes up all you time and all your energy and all the room you have in your head. But I’ve finally got through it (mostly) and I can now tick off a job I’ve been meaning to do since before Christmas.

I wanted to share with you my thoughts on Sue Monk Kidd’s Secret Life of Bees. I remember trying to read it when it first became available and not being able to. A friend then loaned me her copy last year and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Anyway, I wrote some notes in my journal last December and I’ve finally found the energy to type them up. If you’ve read the book please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From my Journal Friday 5th December 2014

I have been wondering what it is about this book that has kept me reading to (almost) the end. Riffling through the pages last night I thought, “I could really stop now [50 pages to go] and I already have in my possession what it is that this book offers.” Why was I thinking this? Why did I keep reading?

So I slept on those thoughts and this morning I have my answer. There is certainly violence and hate and loss and death within the pages. But unlike most books, particularly genre fiction, which use these to overtly propel their stories forward (there is no plot without conflict we are told), Secret Life of Bees uses something else, and it is that something that I’ve been looking for in books for a long time. The core of this book, the thing that moves these characters to act and grow is love. While the horrors of life are happening to the characters, Kidd does not elevate the events to centre stage and have us weeping and wailing and biting our nails wondering what disaster will happen next. Instead, these events happen, like a train stopping at a country station, then quietly pulling away again. I believe she is showing us what a family full of love can do for us – it can quietly and gently enfold us and draw us away from the horrors which happen to us all.

Sure there’s a place for escapist stories and perhaps all stories are escapist in the end. But, it has been and absolute joy to have the motivating emotions loving and joyful rather than dark and frightening or even worrying. Like the bees themselves we do what we have to in this life and when we have a hive to return to, one that is so nurtured that it is full and overflowing with sweetness, then we have the strength to continue.

5 Stars

PS Please don’t ruin the book with lesson plans!

End of Journal entry

You thoughts about the book? Do you think you might give it a go?

The Search for Atlantis | Eternal Atlantis

A “Press This” Share – you’ll find the link below.

I’ve had a long-term interest in Classical History – since my days as an undergraduate, so I’m sharing with you an excerpt from a recent post by Luciana Cavallaro. She describes herself as an “historical fiction fantasist” and her stories draw on classical myths and legends. This blog post of hers contains a collection of documentaries and her thoughts about Atlantis – especially its location.

If you’ve only got time to watch one I recommend the first video with Bettany Hughes.

Plato’s Atlantis was the precursor to his epic and quantifiable exposition The Republic, a discourse on the ideal society. How government should run, the election of public servants, the laws and the behaviour of its citizens—men. Women were mentioned but weren’t considered as major players in workings of the social order. So was Plato writing about a civilisation that once existed or did he make it all up to create a moralistic story? It is this driving quest that has stirred the imaginations of storytellers and historians for hundreds of years. Was Atlantis a real place?

The Search for Atlantis | Eternal Atlantis.

Enjoy!

Depth of Connection

 

Shaker Wheel

My Great Wheel

 

To see an antique is to know it intellectually.

To touch it gives a fleeting connection with life and how it was.

To own and use it, is to bathe in a deep slow stream and be held by the past and the present and even the future.

 

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Depth.”