Rain bath and vivid dreams of the fallen

I’m listening to the rain behind me, glad of a warm comfortable haven, even if it is still full of clutter. I’ve been in the bath. Water without and water within. It’s a big part of my wind down, plonking myself in hot water. I get a lot done in the bath. Catching up on reading for one. Books work great in the bath so long as you don’t drop them. Even so it’s less risk than a phone. It’s something of a blessing that mobile phone screens go crazy in steam. I get lots of my reading done in the water.

Candles, chamomile and bubbles

This evening I’ve been back into The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen – it’s a rich contemplation of many things and very helpful for winding down, even if it makes me desperately want to pull on a pack, hit another trail and walk for a month in a new place. He’s in Nepal. It’s always been on my list. So much world. Such short lives. The list is already longer than the time remaining. Once things switch on I’m gonna have to prioritise.

I’m getting better at staying in the bath though, for now. Time was that I was so active in my head I’d run the bath and only be in it for five minutes before pulling myself out again to “do” the “thing”. I’m getting a little bit better at switching off the constant spinning and allowing myself to just be for a while. That kind of thing is more possible in lockdown.

Tomorrow I’m driving for about eight hours though. I’ll likely be missing the splishy sploshy before long, giving the Audi the runaround. I’m delivering a box of plates to Somerset. On the way over I’m stopping to scout a venue, and then I’m picking up Lou, who has been meditating quietly in the Welsh borders for ages. Once again I’m overloading myself. I should’ve booked an Airbnb in Somerset. I’ll have to leave pretty early in the morning to drive long hours. I know myself well enough that I’ve already put the plates in the car so I don’t arrive in Somerset without them. “I’ve got your plates. Oh. Oh fuck.” Done that sort of thing before. Just so long as the idiot that smashed the window on the Nissan doesn’t fancy some Scott’s of Stow cockerel plates I’ll be fine. And it’s raining too hard for idiots.

I always find the sound of rain comforting when I know I won’t be out in it. It’s warm in here, I just put the heating on for a bit so I have a toasty sleep. Twenty to one and the alarm is set for seven. I’m gonna sink down now into the sound of the water and find those dreams I enjoy so much.

Last night I hugged my dad, in the garden at Eyreton. I hugged him and he hugged me and I remembered in my dream the sensations – the feelings and the smells. It was as if his spirit came and spent some time with me. I woke with him so near, so vivid, so clear after twenty years and more. Even the smell of him, forgotten until just upon waking, conjured back in a dream. Then today, clear memories of mum – circular regrets about what wasn’t and what might have been. These are the people that made me – long gone now, but the sense of them is so close in memory today that it’s as if they are just a flicker away.

I’ve been on my own too long. Haven’t we all?

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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