the dig

So on I kept going, and though my life didn’t truly depend on it, for a while it felt like it. Or rather I wanted it to. In a tiny recess of my existence this was a moment that had always been there, but I had never truly acknowledged, either through ignorance or more likely, fear. I had a little smile to myself when I considered just what I was doing, and how unexpected life’s challenges can turn out to be. It was only a thin unconvincing smile, and then I continued the dig.

What I had begun to notice was how with each spit I was uncovering more and more of the items which the older occupants must have left or lost, intentionally or otherwise, even though this was my thirtieth season on this soil.

I was amazed by the fact that there was anything left buried, as every time this plot has been turned I have found things, and discarded them. Like our parents used to say when we vomited as children: where does it all come from, there can’t be anything left? I imagined layers of detritus slowly being forced back to the surface, driven up and up, so as not to be forgotten. And me here digging my way into its new existence.

I recognised the pockets of old batteries which were black carbonised chunks, almost indistinguishable from the earth where they were rested, ancient years of power now used and I wondered just for a moment if in their internment they still sent out invisible signals, tiny pulses through the strata. A kind of inverse universe if you will. Was there something out there that would one day capture this and treat an unenlightened population to the existence of another world?

I found numerous wire springs which had at one time been the jaws which clamped the pegs to the washing line. Their little wooden limbs long rotted, lost now in particles; consumed. Now they looked like the knots in barbed wire, without the wire.

Springtime came to mind as I threw yet another aside, a bright blue image of damp linen, tea towels fluttering just so in the chilly breeze. There were years when that breeze seemed to flow through my home, through my fabric, all year around.

Joyful, sweet late evenings, goose pimples through my short sleeves.

Those evenings when we would not turn on any lights, just enjoy the calm as the rich hues of dusk, slowly swallowed the last of the daylight. We would then sit in the cool darkness, absorbed in small thoughts, followed by gentle, gentle sleep.

I recognised the old bones, prehistoric memories of lazy Sunday lunches, maybe taken looking through the very same window from which you had stood watching.

Journal Comments

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