Thursday, February 16, 2006

of tantrums and tents

Last night Aeolus stalked the skies of suburban London.

To lie in bed in the early hours of the morning as the god of the winds plays havoc amongst the trees and garden gates along the street, rattling roof tiles and ripping clouds from their moorings to scud across the sky.

To lie in the dark as moonlight, like steam, billows across the walls. To hear the wind turn the corner of the house, and feel it draw its fingers across the window panes…

Is, strangely, comforting I’ve always thought. To be cosy in bed when wild, wild elemental fury unleashes itself on the ordinary world outside is a feeling of being cocooned, safe, warm and glad. It’s the perfect time to roll and find a warm drowsy figure next to you, and perhaps make some love in the joy of sharing a nest in the storm…

…alternatively you could do what I did, and open the bedroom door, and let the dogs in. And so we lay, at 3.30 this morning, by candlelight, hairy bottoms and wet noses (not me!!), and a glass of wine and listened to the storm swell and rise, to driven hail and the manic clang and clatter of Aeolus’ chariot passing by.

I’ve had trouble sleeping recently. I’m late to bed anyway, but this past week, even when I’ve made it abed by midnight I’ve still been wide awake at 2. It probably happens to us all periodically, and I know better than to fight it now, so I’ll try to regard it as a chance to catch up on some reading. I’m perilously close to finishing Mason & Dixon which has defeated me for years.

The alarm will go at 6.30 come what may so there’s very little point in getting anxious? And, since it has happened many times in the past I refuse to lie there and let my mind run riot while my body tries to find a comfortable cool spot in a bed that is beginning to resemble a sack of seed potatoes. Trust me, unless you have nary a care world, never lie in bed in the dead, dread hours of the night and take stock of your life.

So I’m sure it was 4 or 4.30 this morning when I finally slid back and closed my eyes on Toffee’s rump.

It’s like the storm, it will pass, I know it will in a childlike way - because it always does. So it’s comfortable, my bed is like the thick walls of the house, a place of shelter.

And hopefully, when it does, I won’t wake up in the office with drool on my shirt…

16 comments:

Jenn said...

Everything passes eventually.

I used to live in Oklahoma - and no offense to anyone - the only thing I enjoyed about it was the stormy weather. And mainly the night storms. Serious, crazy wind, and rain that went sideways...thunder...lightning...the whole package. Loved it.

You put very eloquently into words the essence of night. (for me now anyway...it will pass...it always does.)

Gerbera Daisy said...

I hate when I can't sleep. I really hate when a storm wakes me and I can't get back to sleep. Sweet Dreams.

Pam said...

Who said, "This too shall pass?" Doesn't really have a choice now does it? LOL

Some wonderful prose Colin. I had great visuals reading your descriptions.

Out west, here in the States, the wind is usually an evil, mindful thing and I don't care for it. Not one bit. It makes my house shake and I expect an monstrous, ugly, bizarrely dressed wolf to be sitting in my backyard when the wind howls like that.
Your description sounds much more appealing!

Dorothy said...

Beautiful, beautiful prose (I'm a writer and I know). I love storms. Ever since my grandfather and I sat on the front porch with the tin roof overhead and listened to the drops of rain making tap-tap-tapping noises, I loved storms. Especially thunder storms. Incredible.

Deranged Doctor said...

I suppose that a love of storms is the saving grace in countries that take their pride in seeing just how close they can come to actually blowing us off the edge. You're a lucky man, Colin, you've evolved perfectly for this sort of weather.

Wendy said...

What WONDERFUL writing Colin. Truly. You're words so often sweep me away into some fantastical place. I do love a good storm, (is there such a thing?) - But the way you write is so wonderful. I can hear it, breathe it, feel it ... hairy bottoms, wet noses, and all.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Such vividness...I could've closed my eyes and been there in the storm...feeling that wind...:) I love cuddling while it's storming outside....be it with a human or a canine...;)

I used to sleep like the dead...but since I hit my thirties, my sleeping pattern has changed completely and I'm LUCKY if I get 6 hours sleep a night.

I've been taking Melatonin to help me sleep (it's a natural alternative to sleeping pills) and it does indeed help me sleep...but it also causes you to dream more....which isn't a bad thing if you're having good dreams...but if they're not good dreams.....:(

krisbtterfly said...

drenching rain and rumbling thunder have always been comforting to me. the crack of lightning is just icing on the cake... that leaves me feeling like the tiny being in this great world that i actually am. we never get great storms like that in dc anymore. i need to move. (but i already knew that last saturday with the gunshots in the neighborhood). hah

patti_cake said...

Ahhh your post (especially the beginning) just swept me off to Merry Olde London Town. I love a good night storm also. It makes me feel so safe and secure. And don't even get me started on the wind, a whistling moaning wind is just sexy to me. Whew.

Jill said...

lovely words... and particularly vivid for me to read along as i admire this new design... ah, london. haven't been there in years.

Miladysa said...

Horlicks and a kit kat... failing that the ''nuclear cure - reality tv!

Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite :)

Aims said...

That sounds so like me! There's nothing better than being snuggled and warm in bed when there's a storm a raging outside! I don't sleep well either but I am too lazy to get out of bed! I have a fantasy world I go to when I can't sleep. Funny how I am always getting to the best bit of the fantasy when the alarm goes off! I may have been asleep for a few hours but then reality rears it's ugly head!!
Crap! I'm drunk - I'm going!!!

Deadly Female said...

No storms here. But I was awake in the wee small hours too.

Sandra said...

I love how you describe things. You could make quantum physics sound lovely and romantic if you tried.

Seven said...

Are you quite sure it's not you with the hairy bottom?
Well writen piece my friend, thanks for sharing.

Jessica said...

I concur with Sandra, Colin...I love the way you phrase things.