« Childbirth At 65 | Main | The Magi »

Open Features: Summer's Music

"Mine was a magical childhood. One spent running wild with ponies on Dartmoor, exploring Cornish lanes and hearing everywhere the music of the wind, gulls wheeling, eagles
soaring over crags and, on long summer nights, nightingales in the woods,'' writes Jacqueline Dowling.

The images of childhood have no symmetry. They swirl and surge beneath the currents of the
sub-conscious, tossed coloured and shifting through the ever changing prism of life. They fly
free, like skeins of wild geese. Filling the silence with their cries and the rushing of myriad
wings.

The music of one glorious childhood summer has tempered my thoughts and attitude
towards creative writing throughout life. I make no apology for indulging my love of writing
straight from the soul, for the sometimes unorthodox use of words, images and for allowing
imagination to soar with birds and race down the wind.

Perhaps the words are not meant to be published, therefore adherence to norms
doesn't always take pride of place. The music, however, always will.

Mine was a magical childhood. One spent running wild with ponies on Dartmoor,
exploring Cornish lanes and hearing everywhere the music of the wind, gulls wheeling, eagles
soaring over crags and, on long summer nights, nightingales in the woods.

Exploring orchards heavy with ripening fruit, picnics between the roots of ancient oaks.
Places of long tender grass and mossy scents, the sound of bees loud in our ears. And in
dusty attics the musty cidery warm yellow smell of withering apples set aside for winter.

Wandering home along dusk-drowsy lanes, meadowsweet clotting the space above.
Hedgerows of foxgloves, fuchsias and daisies: the late ambered cornfields brilliant with
crimson poppies.

It took many years of living in Africa to feel red dust between my toes, to hear the
crescendo of towering thunderstorms overlaying soft whispering of wind through grass. And
to feel the ancient spirits of an ancient land swirling and dancing as dust devils across the
savannah.

'We like your stories' one editor wrote.
'But they are too English. Change the genre and Africanise them, then re-submit.' So I
did.
On sun warmed rocks at night, high in the Western Cape's Koue Bokkeveld, I lay and
listened to the stars. So close you could almost touch them. Nearby a shy leopard padded
softly, almost soundless. From caves above us the staccato barks of baboons made their
own kind of music. And a distant river sang its song.
Under softly clicking palms, we listened as the sea wove its adagio through the coral
sand...the music of words, of thoughts and imagination the music of the soul.
I wish every child could hear it.

Categories

Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.