17 August, 2014

Me: After a long journey west, the moors suddenly loom into view, dark and foreboding. They conjure a sense of times long forgotten, when elves and fairies lead the ceremonies that honoured the changing of the seasons. And if you listen carefully, you can still hear their ancient magic on the breeze; to this day, that magic makes the ash trees shimmer. I open the doors, and the children disappear to explore the Mill. It’s as if they’ve come home; I hear them giggle as they gather sticks to race under the bridge over the stream that divides the land. But, after the long journey, I’m tired and hungry, so I seek out a warm, comforting cup of tea. What’s for dinner, I wonder?

Audience: Oh no! Not lentils again!

Rick: farts

Me: The wind gathers strength as its forces, hurtling through hedgerow and gorse, rush down from on top of the moors. The ash no longer whispers tales of ancient rites, but protests instead. Only the Jackdaw ventures out, flapping ungainly, battling the squall to find its way home to the community roost. Mallets and sledgehammers are in full force now, as straps are fastened tight for the stormy night ahead. It’s hard work, and hunger soon bites. What’s for dinner, I wonder?

Audience: Oh no! Not lentils again!

Rick: farts

Me: The wind rages and the storm bites. The stream no longer meanders gently across the land; instead, it surges through in honour of the water spirits that have been drawn down from Dartmoor. Even the Oak tree bows low in the wake of the gale. All the animals have long since found a safe shelter in which to wait out the fury. The weather lays waste to much of our efforts from previous days; doors are ripped away from their hinges, tarpaulins fail, canvases come down, and straps are torn free. Yet each emergency is met with a strong will and stoic courage. We keep the camp safe, but refastening straps, forcing home storm pegs, hauling wet canvas into the driving wind and rain is hard, heavy work that requires a full stomach. What’s for dinner, I wonder?

Audience: Oh no! Not lentils again!

Rick: farts

Me: Then the wind drops. Animals venture out again, and a Buzzard circles high, hungrily surveying the common land to the North, ready to drop on any inquisitive small mammal that strays, unwisely, just a little too far from its shelter. The stream still rushes through the land, serving as a reminder of the storm from the day before. And if you listen carefully, you can hear the Naga spirits slither through the shallows, hissing their disproval at the weakening winds. Doors are fixed, domes are resurrected, straps are retightened and, once more, pegs are driven home. Such effort requires refuelling. What’s for dinner, I wonder?

Audience: Oh no! Not lentils again!

Rick: farts

Me: Now there’s calm. The lull allows us to feel our feelings. To think our thoughts. To share our story. To realise our reality. And to fashion friends with friendship and find further friends’ friendships, too. It allows us to honour the wise ancestors that have bequeathed this land. To thank the animals for sharing their home. To light incense for the fairies that are nature’s keepers. And to leave offerings for the elves that have shaped the hills. It’s a time for meditation. For mindfulness. For meta. It’s a time for our community to come together with stories and song, and warm, nourishing food. What’s for dinner, I wonder?

Audience: Oh no! Not lentils again!

Rick: farts

Me: Back home. The moors far behind. The children are upstairs, playing happily; they’re Steiner educated, so they’re drawing an autumn scene of harvest and ripening apples in over-priced pastel chalks that were bought from the school shop. They’re absolutely not watching a film on their 24-inch low energy LCD monitor and 5:1 surround sound home theatre system. I decide to use the time to reminisce. I close my eyes and reflect on the sights, the sounds, the tears and the laughter. And of course the tastes; still lost in the beauty of Frog Mill, I absent-mindedly prepare food for us all. “Dinner, girls!” I call up. “Dad!” comes the response, “there’s still ten minutes left of this episode of Pokemon!” But when the girls do eventually come downstairs, they sit at the table and ask, “What’s for dinner dad?”

Audience: Oh no! Not lentils again!

Rick: farts

Creative Commons License
Wind by Steven Huckle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://glowkeeper.github.io/assets/misc/Wind/.