Coaching, Comedy and Cushions

Life is a serious business.  The world keeps turning with global, national and personal events adding to an internalised sense of doom. But enough! It’s time to start healing and move forward.

So I’m choosing to look at the lighter side of life, – to give me the energy to make the changes needed in me, then my world and the world beyond that.  To do this I have to start with what is on the inside first, and it could be that maybe, just maybe, I’ve been taking myself a little too seriously lately… This newest blog then is written with a deliberately light touch – in order to learn, laugh and most definitely have some FUN!

fun

Well in case you didn’t know, as well as being a coach, I’m a writer.  I’m a story teller and a creator. I pull words out of the ether, whirl them magically around in my mind, and then set my fingers to typing them, so to string them into sensitive, soulful sentences – straight onto the page and in straight lines too…

And before my luscious prose wafts you deliciously away, floating off on my wonderfully wanton words; I would like to share, that just occasionally, I’ve been known to disappear up my own author-ly arse…  Yes, pardon the poetic playfulness, but I’m literally in a funny mood (I’m thinking the ‘ha ha’ kind, but it could be ‘peculiar’ – you decide)…

My funny bone has been tickled by the fictions that I create – both consciously and unconsciously – so I’m pondering on the stories that I tell – about my chosen specialist subject – me.

I know a lot about me you see – I’ve spent a lot of lavish time contemplating me and getting to know me better.  And much as I know myself; so I often I don’t like myself – or my life.  As a result I started the conscious journey to change things up.  More like stir things up – it’s not so much that the difficulties go away, more that I just deal with them differently!  But I realise now that so much of what I am feeling is a fiction.  So as a story teller I’ve now decided to make it a funny fiction…

This is partly the fault of my Life Coach, Liz Ivory – whose cushioned couch I was sitting on recently.  Now as a coach myself, I have to walk the talk and go and get coached.  Yes – in order to dispense my divine wisdom and to help others learn about / get what they want from life – I’ve got to go through the same process too.  And believe me I do. Again and again…

As well as being a writer, I’m also a bit of an entertainer.  I’m creative all-rounder in fact, and one of the best forms of entertainment, as far as I can see – is being me.  And you may think, that as a coach I’m one of those smug, got together, thinks she ‘knows it all’s; when in fact I do all this navel gazing ‘nonsense’ first and foremost – for me. Myself. And I.  Because when it comes to life, it seems that I need to keep on learning about and laughing at its’ lessons.

Since I am constantly learning and re-learning, the temptation is to berate myself for not getting things right on either the first, third or 45th attempt; but, as Liz points out – you can’t expect to have just one bath and then be clean for life…

So when I’m not gazing at my navel in the bath of life, I’m watching my life.  And it’s both fascinating and absorbing, being my own spectator.   I mean, whose life could possibly be more interesting than mineMy thoughts, my progress, my problems all knitted together into the stringy, scratchy scarf of a selfish soap opera.  And then the latest episode ends by crashing into that old familiar theme tune…

Now, after stumbling through the latest life episodes, I get to sit it out and recount the omnibus highlights by bending the ear of the lovely Liz. And it all makes my coaching sessions so interesting… Well, interesting, for me any how – as I get to talk about me; recounting the latest serialised stories of me.

As the star (and editor in chief) of these particular dramas, I realise that what pulls us in to such good old fashioned soap operas is the story line.  We get hooked by the creative manipulations of a team of writers creating plot lines purposefully designed to inexorably hold our attention. But none of these professional plotters could possibly compete with the story lines that teem and throng through my own heated head.  I’m the biggest and the best story teller of all.

In the TV of my mind I’ve been watching the story of my life, and weaving the plots of my path into the addictive dirge of a soap opera.  And in doing so I’ve been interpreting conversations and machinations into a relentless weepie.  But it’s time to press pause and reinterpret all this – I don’t even enjoy soap operas – so why the hell am I being one?!  Yup – cliché alertit’s time to re-write the story

So back on the coach’s cushioned couch I get some commentary from Liz on the latest life episodes I’ve regaled her with and then we work together on what to do next.  Two coaches, one couch, and the end result that she comes up with is that I should have more fun.  Fun she says. Fun? Fun!

Why fun? For a start it’s an antidote to the serious, serialised soap operas that I have running on repeated loop in my spectator brain, (just like that Plus One Freeview Channel tucked away at number 538 on the Guide).  And fun is such a puny, insignificant little word if you count up its letters, but it’s packed with big significance – as it frees you from feeling sorry for yourself and gives you a break from the darkly plotted serialisations that can run on repeat in your brain.

But fun – really??? “Nope – not sure I can do that”, my serially repeating brain says. “I have neither the time, energy nor inclination for it”.

But Liz will not leave it there.  Not only should I have more fun, but being a writer I should write about it.  In fact Liz has a whole huge heap of ideas she has decided need writing / righting by me…

She has so many ideas in fact, that my first thought was to go home – pack my laptop and a toothbrush, then return to that same spot in the corner of Liz’s lounge for maybe the next 5 years, churning out the various projects she has dreamt up for me.  So now it’s not a soap opera that I’m writing, but a Sit Com, then a funny fairy story for little kids, next a book for teenagers, and not least a novel to take care of the adult audience. That will take me to next Tuesday then… And she tells me that I’m the creative one..!

So we laughed, me and Liz.  We laughed a lot in that room with the cushions.  And the laughter freed my thoughts.  Suddenly the story changed and I remembered that I had forgotten – that actually, ‘I’m already having fun thank you very much Liz – I’ll have my fee back now – clever clogs coach’. And I had proof of the fact – ‘nerr and yaboo sucks to you’!

I get my mobile phone out and show Liz a picture.  It’s of me and a beautiful two year old boy.  His name is Isaac and he is the son of one of my closest friends.  For all sorts of reasons (therein could be many more blogs) I’m happily besotted with him.  His mum – Vickie, had bought him over to spend the day and it had somehow ended up in my garden, with a football that I had just bought, along with various other aunt-erly treats…

Now normally football would be far from my unsporting, sedentary thoughts; but Isaac has this gorgeous way of completely changing the game for me – yuh huh – pun completely intended…  So the football got kicked about and somehow I became the goal and every time Isaac scored, we celebrated.  In fact the only way, as I saw it, to do such triumphal / continual victory justice, was to roll over onto my back, pedal my legs frantically in the air and yell ‘goal!!!’

I’m delighted to say that Isaac agreed with me, and he imitated me, and we laughed – a lot.  Then we did it again.  And again.  Then he clambered into my lap and we did it together.  “Again” he said.  So we two rolled over and kicked up.  I could feel the physical effort pulling at my stomach muscles, but I didn’t care.  Who needs to do crunches to get abs of steel, when you have your own mini motivator, effortlessly turning your sloth into smiles?

And there on my phone, as I showed Liz, was a picture to prove it.  She could see easily, that my footballing nemesis and me were laughing, shining and flushed with the fun of it all…

And now I think on it, it’s not the only time recently that I’ve had fun / laughed / giggled and guffawed. This includes the brilliantly random conversation I had with my friends Nicola and Richard, who were recounting that one asked the other to scratch her back, and it came out as ‘will you brush my beef please?’…   Well… before we knew it we were coming up with more and more similar sayings, each one sounding more and more like the missing dialogue from a Carry On film – until the point someone came out with ‘dust my duck’ and then the dam broke – we just lost it to the point that all I could do was cry with laughter and stamp my feet with happy hysteria!

Ah – but I’d missed out those episodes of light relief in the sinister serialisation of the story. I’d simply forgotten that life is made up of both soap operas and sit coms.  And look – here is pictorial evidence of me joking around and having fun – yet again!

Fun 1 crop
There I go, just a few days ago: Having good old fashioned, un-self- conscious fun – again!

Ah – so that plot line was there all the time, ‘playing out’ in every way, so now – it’s time for the story I’m telling myself – to change

Now I’m sorry Liz, but see you – I’m stubborn – you know how much I like to do things on my own terms; so much as I’ve decided to buy into this new comical box set and re-write the serial, I have to do it – like Frank said – my way, and write a Blog Com instead of a Sit Com – so there.  And off the ‘soap’ box I will climb…

And there you have it – I’m re-writing my life and it’s a divine comedy… Yup – I’m disappearing up that author-ly arse again…

Laugh? I did it by wrote.

Boom!

With love, laughter and a cushion.
  from Sandie xx
Sandra Peachey
Transient Goddess, Coach and Story Teller

You can Contact Me by clicking here…

I’m also variously known as:

* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-FactorYou can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coachingfind out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…

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Fiction: Love Letter to Canal Flying

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 10 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered.  As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It is a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels to me like arranging a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern.

Part of my blog challenge this month is to boost the content of this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which will stand alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my book design.

Canal Pic

Canal Flying

On the long summer evenings she loved to fly over the canal just as dusk was descending. It was an exercise in extraneous ego for she could see her magnificent reflection flying over the still water, a mirror to her glorious form, backlit by the clouds and vaulted blue sky above; woven into the waving water weeds and the journeys of teeming silent fish, below. It was a stirring sight as she flew boundlessly over endless miles, honing her senses as she listened beyond her ears to feel the rustle of reeds, ducks calling and sheep bleating their bedtime prayers.

She would consciously work all her senses – to go beyond them. Inhaling the smell of damp summer plants and slowly flowing canal ways; endeavouring to hear beyond the wind – blowing its soft swathes through fields of rippling, growing wheat; with wingless creatures scurrying through, under and around; aware of her above, where humankind ignored her.

She smiled as she flew on and followed the sleepy gentle lines and curves of the canals; the water drawing her along it and soothing her in gorgeous tandem with the easy constant rhythm of her wings.

Below her in innocent farms, cottages and narrow boats, somnambulant occupants watched TV and went about their end of the day business; ignoring her beating wings – sighing and sloughing over their heads in the descending darkness. Deliberately she would tease their senses by sweeping and flapping loudly, playing the wind and the mind and the contradictory silence of the countryside.

She loved this time alone and so week night flights ensured that there were less drunken loud people sitting out in canal side pub beer gardens; yapping and smoking their tarred freedom away, cutting into her sweet night fantastical flights with their discordant chatter.

Yet also from below, these solid land marked hostelry buildings offered her loud beacons of light, to navigate her certain way back home.

She avoided the roads, yet still, even along the quietest country lanes, motor vehicles would whizz inconstantly by; and so she was flying over the roofs of busy unknowing passengers, driving loudly and blindly below with full beams on, navigating through country lanes and over bridges, where unbeknownst, she steered high above, softly laughing at their modern, mechanical ways.

With dusk the bats would come out to feast and play, circling and crying whilst she confused their echo location positioning, as they sensed and sized up the gargantuan flying companion sharing their night world. ‘Squee, squee!’ they cried as she swept on by, bringing her out of her meditative reverie – measured till now by the simple soft beat of her beautiful wings.

Drawn by the sunset – she headed back home with the dropping light of day. Then the moon would take over, insinuated now into the sky above her head, having waxed and waned through a succession of watery nights – from new, to crescent and progressing back to a luscious full ball – with each lunar shape changing through and marking those sweet days of summer flight.

~ Sandra Peachey

PS: This blog post is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, what ever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites any where in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

Fiction: Pancake Day

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 9 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered.  As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It is a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels to me like arranging a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern.

Part of my blog challenge this month is to boost the content of this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which will stand alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my book design.

Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day

pancakes

That year of 1974, on the Sunday before Pancake Day, Ariel was skulking in her bedroom because she sensed that Mariel would be manifesting very soon. She’d crammed all her chores in to Saturday: laying the fire, scrubbing the kitchen and digging over the vegetable patch – all with such thoroughness and willingness that she would be left alone and unquestioned by her mother, and ready for when her Tutor came quietly to call.

With spring approaching and lighter nights lengthening, they spent much of their time together gazing at, and learning about the moon, and its mysterious influences. As a student in the craft of flying, moonlit nights were perfect for practise, for she could clearly see and learn the landmarks that she needed to navigate by.

When learning her lunar lore, Ariel, who rarely remembered numerical concepts, knew that Shrove Tuesday can fall anywhere between 3 February and 9 March, since it is exactly 47 days before the moveable feast of Easter Sunday, in turn determined by the timing of the current moon cycles.

More importantly to an impatient teenager, it was – for her – the day that started the slow tick down to Easter and her very next stay in Tregorwith Castle.

Now, with lunch out of the way, she dozed while she waited for Mariel to appear. She slept easily as all her chores had made her tired and especially too, since if they were to fly then she would need all her energy. She also did this because Mariel always liked to arrive by stealth and surprise. Ariel would always sense intuitively that Mariel was on her way, but could never expect her – instead Mariel would manifest suddenly at what she deemed to be the least expected moment. Her explanation was, that this unexpected element of surprise kept her movements secretive, safe and untraceable; yet Ariel suspected that her mentor did it more because she liked to keep her student on her toes, and not least because she always loved to make the most dramatic appearance possible.

Ariel could always see the smug satisfaction gained when she would turn around and find that Mariel had momentarily manifested and was smirking behind her, especially if she had made her jump with shock. Today though, she simply felt Mariel’s presence, sweetly through her slight sleep and she opened her eyes to see her feathered friend, fanning her awake, with the whisper of her wings.

“So, my sleepy sylph, wake up – it is time to Shrive” said Mariel. “To what..?” Ariel replied, sitting up and yawning. “To shrive, to absolve, then to resolve and release.” “Oh”, thought Ariel, “it’s going to be one of those lessons…”

“In order to fly” Mariel continued, “we have to think airily and eat lightly. You know already that in the hours before a long flight you must only eat the lightest of meals – in order that you are nourished enough to sustain yourself, but not weighed down by food and fat.”

Ariel’s mind wondered off to an advertisement she’d recently seen on Television, where a beautiful slim woman, ate airy, delicious, bread and was able to float easily away over a beautiful landscape in a sumptuous hot air balloon. She was slim and could float away because she was dieting, but for all that, she could still eat this special bread. Ariel’s mother, typically, would not buy the slimmer’s bread for her, since it was nearly twice the cost of their normal white sliced loaf… Of course Ariel couldn’t counter argue that she needed the slimmer’s bread so she could fly, so she just coveted it with a quiet pout, instead.

Mariel raised her voice to distract Ariel out of her floating thoughts: “So as we eat lightly, so also must we think lightly. For if we have heavy thoughts, then we are weighed down by woe and will not be able to navigate our flying journeys with the necessary elegance and ease. As we come to this point in the moon’s cycle then, starting our preparations for the approach of Easter, it is time to Shrive. To do this perfectly, you must let go of the dark words in your mind, of your fears, and of your cares. You can do this by confiding in me, my child. And you may confess your darkness’s to others too, but be careful as to who; for your confidences can be turned into curses if they are given into the wrong hands.

So tell me now what ails you; tell me what worries you; tell me what you are scared of; tell me of all that is wrong with your world.”

Ariel suddenly felt silently shy and dry of words. She was not used to revealing her thoughts to Mariel. She was used, instead to receiving Mariel’s lessons and her endless wisdoms, but not to share the cares of her mundane, earth bound world.

“I see this has silenced you, my sweet student, so let me ask you, gently and carefully – what was the last thing that you were afraid of?”

Ariel’s mind shot back to the bullies at school and soon she shared her secret tears and stories. More quiet questions from Mariel then came, and more answers Ariel returned. She spoke of the hardness of her mother, of their lack of money, how her mother would complain about her father and kept him firmly out of their lives. She cried and sniffed her way through her wandering woes.

Mariel next said, “So – now say to me of what is wonderful in your world. Tell me your blessings, and tell me all the things that you could ever be grateful for.”

Ariel hesitated and so Mariel said “how about your father – tell me about him.” And so Ariel spoke of Charles and she loved to be with him and all her Cornish family. And on, Mariel questioned through all the sweet areas of Ariel’s life in turn. They spoke of Tregorwith, of her favourite dress, of her dolls, her best friend and more besides.

“Now,” said Mariel “sense how you feel. Are you heavier or lighter in mind and heart?”

“I’m much lighter of course” Ariel smiled back, happily.

“Wonderful my little one, you are absolved. Your cares are let go and so today you will fly easy. But our conversation today cannot cure all these cares alone. To remember the importance of lightness, you must now lean into Lent. You know that in the Christian way, many give up sweets and treats for 40 days. For us this is critical in another way. You have to be lean and light to fly, so for Lent we will spare ourselves the sweets and the treats, so that we can fly light in every way too.

It’s not enough to do this jettisoning on one Lenten day when you have me near, so you must also leave out food treats, in the Emissarriat way, for the length of the 40 days of Lent. This will train you even more to be light of body. It will also remind you, every one of those 40 days, to remain light of heart. Keep this practice, in all the years that you are able to fly through life.

Know too, that your cares can return, so I have this gift for you.” She handed Ariel a small journal, covered in leather, embossed with golden entwining flowers. “This your journal. Keep it close. It is not created to record your cares – but to let them go and so to celebrate the wonders of your world. In it, write down your stories, and scribe out the things that you love. Tell too in these pages, waiting for you, of the things that you would love to be. Set down your dreams and all your airy plans.”

“Thank you. It’s so beautiful” said Ariel. “But my mother will find it, I know she will, she will find it and pry and poke fun at me. She’ll laugh at my dreams. She always does.”

“Look at your book” Mariel replied. “Look at the lock there. Here it’s tiny matching key”. I’ve set some magic over it. Keep it safe – out of sight, and these dreams and schemes, she shall not see.”

All’s well Ariel, so let’s fly, lightly, now.”

Ariel hid the journal under her bed and suddenly they were out in the skies. Mariel took her by the hand and raced her upwards through the flying, rushing world. They soon came to a village and hovered over a Pancake Race, taking place in a field below. Men dressed up as frowsy housewives, with floral aprons and scarves round their head, ran clumsily round a race track, tossing pancakes heavily, as they went. They looked so funny, with their male socks and shoes all at odds with their female garb. Ariel and Mariel laughed along with the crowd of friends and family.

Mariel whorled them round the world, swiftly, to stare at a series of Shrove spectacles. There were feasts and carnivals, fancy dress and bell tolling prayers. Ariel marveled at the speed that she was whisked around the globe, sometimes barely glancing at the happenings below. They spanned through Shrove days, through days of the week, through rushing wind and warm air. Round and through, up and along. Ariel was taken by the hand and swept along with the easy flight of Mariel’s magnificent wings. She beat her own wings barely for practice and to steady herself along the way.

Then suddenly they were back to Sunday. Back in her bland urban home. Landed in the bedroom above her mother’s suburban head.

“Happy Shrove Time” Mariel said. “Enjoy your pancakes on Tuesday, for that will be your final feast before you lighten for Lent. Remember to keep the writings in your journal light too. Show it to me again..?”

Ariel reached under the bed to pull the precious book out and of course when she turned back to reveal it, her tutor had flown and gone.

She looked down at the gorgeous book gift, then held it up to her nose to smell the fine leather. Next she fitted the tiny golden key into the lock and turned it with the sweetest, most satisfying click. She smoothed her fingers over the heavy, cool, cream coloured pages inside, turning them to gently flatten them against the stiff spine, to ready them for writing.

Ariel reached for a pen from her school bag and started to write. She wrote of the colourful sights she had seen that day and how they had taken flight seeing Shrove spectacles across Europe.

She wrote of the things that she had to look forward – to seeing her father and visiting Tregorwith.

She wrote that although her mother did not make cakes and soups and other such complicated things, she always made pancakes for them on Pancake Day.

And on Tuesday evening, there she was, sitting waiting at the table. He mother stood at the cooker and the pancakes come straight off the pan on to Ariel’s plate. Her mother handed her the plastic lemon, so she could squeeze the sharp juice from it and then she unrolled the sugar bag, dipped a clean teaspoon in to it and sprinkled her annual treat, daintily and thoroughly. Her mother then cooked her own pancake and embellished and gobbled it in the same way, until they had happily eaten 3 pancakes each.

So she had Shrove-feasted and now it was time to lighten for Lent. Much to her mother’s annoyance Ariel easily gave up puddings, despite being offered them nearly every evening for the next 40 days.

“You’re a strange one” her mother would say. “There’s no need to starve yourself. I went through the war and would have been glad of even half the food you turn your nose up at now.”

“But Mother,” Mariel thought “you can’t fly…”

~ Sandra Peachey

PS: This blog post is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, what ever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites any where in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

Fiction: Love Letter to Storm Riding

Most of my posts on here on ‘Peachey Letters’ are formed out of fact.  I write about what happens in my life and draw in personalities and scenes that I pass along the way.  My books and blogs to date are based on my factual life stories, yet I inhabit a fictional, imaginary world too.

In dark and in secret I have been, intermittently writing a work of fiction.  At the moment I work on it only when the muse strikes,  yet so often, its stories shape my brain and inform my theoretical thinking.  It is my fierce joy and not something I have shared with any one yet…

Yet last night I sat through a storm.  I was watchful and wakeful and I knew I wanted to write this scene into my new burgeoning book.  When I finally finished, I looked at the time and it was 3.00 am…  And I just knew it was time to go public, with this little teaser of text.  So – rarely, I am going to share an excerpt with you. I would be intrigued to know what you think… Here is, quite literally, my first piece of flash fiction, which, will eventually form part of the first book in my fictional trilogy… There – I’ve said it, and here it is…

Please note that this writing is copyrighted* and not to be used in any form, with out the author’s or her publisher’s permission.

lightning

Storm Riders

A night of humid closeness was followed by a clear, sunny day. What a long glorious day it was. Ariel was busily occupied – productive, secretive, yet still social with those around her, and through all this, she felt so content. It was a day composed of sunshine and freedom. She felt the summer shimmering in her veins and the warm energy of long light moving her effortlessly through all that she had do.

Around her the adults smiled, soaking up her teenage joy and leaving her unattended to her ministrations, stopping her only to feed her and then letting her return to her happy, distant reverie. She danced around her tasks, and sang out her joy, celebrating this zenith day of summer time, passing onto, then flowing into, a profound and wakeful night once darkness finally fell. She climbed the curving stone stairs to bed, but instead of slow sleep, her body fizzed with relentless wakeful energy.

The windows in her room had been left open to allow the summer air in and through them, suspended in the dark night sky, she saw a magnificent moon – clean, large and glowing with a light peachy luminescent tint. She would ask her father in the morning what this beautiful moon meant; yet for now she admired its landscape; for infinitesimally far away from it as she was, she could see the shades and swirls of darkness on its surface. She left the windows open and climbed up onto her high bed.

Happily awake despite her long languorous labours that day, she was filled with the fiery approach of an eclectic vitality jingling through her senses; and then, suddenly a storm started. A weather phenomena of flashing form feared by so many. Whilst instead, she loved the sudden electric energy. It was, she realised now, what she had somehow been waiting for…

It was the kind of lightning you did not see as distinct strands of forked bolts, instead it lit up a vast, eternal sky with every fantastic flash, with the thunder threatening quietly, far away, in the unknown distance over someone else’s head.

The curtains and windows were wide open as she watched the storm, whilst the darkened sky changed and flashed to an encompassing lightening, lighting up the circumference of her cosy world, whilst thunder, getting closer and louder, accompanied the light show – rumbling its deep music, rolling and grumbling its cymbal clashing harmony to the fireworks alternately turning the sky from dark to light and then landing back at night. Now, after her long sated day, she lay sleepily curled up on her side in bed.  Her wings, hidden all day, were lazily unfurled and stretched out luxuriantly behind her.

The storm was beyond human rationale, not something made by man, but loudly ethereal. It was present and solid, yet entirely unearthly. This was not a time for sleeping through the storm as she had when she was a small child, but instead to feel its unfettered and untethered magic, tempered too by her human feelings and fledgling flying experience.

She felt so alive and happy, plugging her psyche into the lightening – feeling the magic of its’ electricity compounding her, and suddenly sitting up from her slow sleepiness, as a huge flash illuminated her whole world, making her gape at the light play and gasp in awe as the whole black sky was suddenly illuminated beyond the bounds of solar experience; and then, immediately, switched back to darkest blackness. There was yet another giant crash of unearthly light and sound, and now she was no longer remotely sleepy; instead Ariel sat up and beat her wings in strange swaths to the pleasingly odd staccato rhythms of the syncopated storm all around her.

Then the rain started, hurling itself through the window and into her soft, safe sanctuary. Another flash of lightening dominated the sky and then she was aware of Mariel who had sweetly manifested and was standing at the foot of her bed, seen suddenly in the strobing light and now transmogrified and transpired at Ariel’s side.

In the intermittent darkness Mariel was a black fallen angel with a dark halo, yet in the light of the luminescent bolts, she was an incandescent free form faery, glowing with rampant electricity, as she softly beat her wings.

She held out her hand to Ariel. “It’s time to fly, sweet sylph” she said and the next Ariel knew, before thought or fear, they had taken off and sped through the wide flung windows – fleeing out into the sweet, stern storm.

They raced to the place of lightening and chased and dodged the lingering illuminating bolts. Like tiny winged infants they shrieked their fearful joy at tricking and avoiding each deadly bolt dealt by the rain gods above; playing hide and seek with the waves of luminous light, chasing and swirling – round and round each other, and soaring around the storm lighting up the sky and their radiant wet, guffawing faces.

Like butterflies they sought the brightness of the lightening waves, and then like moths in the blackness in between, they flew darkly towards the misty moon, guessing and giggling as to where the next strike of electric light, to evade, would be. They flew on humming winds, laughing and buffeted for hundreds of endless, gorgeous sky miles. Flying free without birds or other fearless feathered companions, instead just the two of them were in the sky; rain twins, swooping wildly on the wind and squawking their luminous delight at the majestically altered, deviating night. The canopy and panoply of the whole widened sky of the world was theirs and all theirs – alone. Shared only with the joyous beating rain, running off their waving wings in effortless rivulets and shed unseen, into the feckless darkness of plain night, in between the embracing scions of vibrant vision.

Ariel had to rely on her winged guardian to map and negotiate this altered world. She would be lost without Mariel, since she could not know where on earth she was, rushing and flapping over an unrecognisable landscape – one moment crafted swiftly into form with light, only to be dashed back to darkness. Mariel was still teaching her the skills of aerial navigation, but not tonight. Tonight was formed for fun, for blessed release, for divine, rib aching laughter and for airy earth bound escape, both of them realising their ethereal forms in the secrets of the storm.

They had flowed through a dying day which had now streamed into sweet early morning hours, as the storm weakened, then fled in the face of the new, promised dawn.

And suddenly there Ariel was, sitting on her bed alone, in the still darkness before dawn; her wings drily folded, formed against her back; turning her head back to the window with wonder. Did all this really happen? She tested her senses and felt the enervation of flying freedom in her aching muscles and the delicious tired feel of her flown out wings. She would preen them back to pristine flatness in the tame morning to come. For now she just closed the windows to and smiled into the remaining darkness. She was now a storm rider! What a delicious secret. And sleep would soon claim her tired and sated body, saturated with the pleasure of a storm now sweetly passed.

In the new next morning, she awoke slowly and stretched. Her head was light with a combination of tiredness and heavy dreamless sleep. She put on her night gown and slowly wondered downstairs in her bare feet. She knew that such loose behaviour was not approved of in this household; yet happily, for once, she didn’t care. She reached the kitchen and was still alone. The table was set, in her place, with her breakfast – a cold sausage (thickly breaded and toasted) sandwich, and tepid tea – sitting in its pot under the patchwork cosy waiting for her. All was silent, apart from the insistent, rhythmic tick of the mantel clock, telling her too, that she had slept in and over shot their usual breakfast time by several hours.

After a night of hungry flight, gladly she wolfed down the delicious rations. The sausages were glossy, plump and beautifully burnt. The cold toast that surrounded them crunched and snapped so loudly in her head, that she was smilingly reminded of last nights’ thunder which surrounded her in the past dark, and was now beating inside, in her brightening brain.

Replete with tea, sausage and toast, she wandered out through the open back door to test the day and the temper of anyone who saw her in her crumpled night wear.

Out in the outside, she joined Agatha, the tabby cat, sunning her furry body and then worming and squirming her pleasure at seeing that Ariel was now sharing her space. The firmament above them was a blend of blue and grey, with fat, fluffy clouds spread over an elegant, brightly lit sky. Despite the lashing rain of last night, the stone flags beneath her feet were dry and warm, heated through already by the intermittent bright sunshine. She knelt down to scratch and rub the happy cat, who chirruped her delight and approbation in return, snaking closer and rolling over so that Ariel could fuss her from all bodily angles.

Still they were alone, Ariel and the cat. But somehow the silence of the late morning was loud. It was as if all the adults knew everything (about her night), but were saying nothing. They had left Ariel to her flying destiny and a solitary breakfast. They had allowed her fleeting night time freedom and let her ride the storm with Mariel, (whom they had probably never met) without question or judgement.

Knowing now that no one would disturb her, she dropped her dressing gown to the ground and spread her feathers, stretching, preening and ministering to her wonderful wings in the strengthening sunlight of the lengthening day. The cat licked and soothed her own fur in companionable, lick-y silence. When Ariel’s wings were flattened and stroked into perfect shape, she folded them back in to her body, put her dressing gown on and walked heavily back through the kitchen, across the dark hall and up the stone stairs to the beautiful old fashioned, porcelain bathroom.

She tried the taps and found that there was plenty of hot water, which she ran, without permission, into the vast roll top bath. She stepped in, sloshing and slipping pleasurably in the steaming water, which fogged her senses, washing away the last traces of tiredness from her body. Then she reached up to the cold glass shelf to grab and add the unction of fragrant bath salts, to ease the mild, pleasing aches in her shoulders and wings, and to chase away the final bodily vestiges of an extraordinary night, to face the easy tasks of another solid, steady day.

* Copyright © 2015 by Sandra Peachey

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PS: Did you know that a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of love in its’ gore and glory? This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, what ever it holds for you… You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites any where in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)