• Charli


The planets in all their beauty have appeared as an ongoing theme over the past few weeks. Going to see Gustav Holsts’s The Planets 360 at Dynamic Earth set the tone, shortly followed by Dark Side of the Moon and more recently observations of Saturn, Jupiter and Venus before sunrise.

Of course I didn’t know that it was Saturn, Jupiter and Venus that I observed as they appeared to steal over The Law with a crescent moon in between, but Google is a Devine being unto itself and so my curiosity was assuaged.

Last week the early morning sky was exceptional and Nature’s own light display was mesmerising and inspiring. On Wednesday as I was listening to the new James Blake album as recommend by T, sight and sound suddenly eluded me. I had forgotten to pick up the head torch and so used the torch on my phone to guide me and keep Jilly in sight, although the beam is not nearly as good as that from the head torch, and so I often had to rely on catching glimpse of Jilly’s orange flashing light – my own little emergency rescue service. I had just started listening to Where’s the Catch? when all went quiet and dark. The music that had been filling my head suddenly disappeared and the grains of sand and strands of seaweed that were guiding me vanished. As I stood for a moment realising that the battery on my phone had died I became aware of a new sight and sound taking over my senses.

The waves were lapping at the shoreline, gently pulsing over the beach, creating a rhythm and quiet energy to the morning. Seabirds had begun to chatter and squawk as the sun tentatively nudged a cautious eye over the horizon, barely noticeable but without the distraction of a torchlight I could make out a faint blue/yellow tinge in the inky black sky at night’s end. I looked around to catch sight of Jilly who had quietly appeared beside me, aware that our normal pace had unexpectedly changed, and it was then that I noticed the bright stars and even brighter planets. From where I was standing Saturn was to the left of the waning crescent moon, Jupiter higher and to the right and Venus making a humble appearance to the left of and closer to Earth than Jupiter.

I was immediately reminded of watching The Planets with S and B and vaguely recalled that Jupiter was the bringer of Jollity and Venus bringer of Peace. I couldn’t recall Saturn but further investigation took me to reveal Saturn as the bringer of old age.

Jollity, Peace and Old Age is something I aspire to. Getting older is a given and I would like mine to be a very old age before I pass from this world, having settled peacefully within myself and my surroundings, being able to give to my family and friends and having found my creativity.

Jollity is an essential component for easing us into getting older and I know that sometimes I forget how to ‘just be’ and can be guilty of creating obstacles and reasons not to participate instead of relaxing and going with the flow. Had I not allowed myself to be guided yesterday I would have missed just how amusing and humorous B can be with his gestures and understanding of his dad’s insatiable appetite for coffee and cheesecake. If ever there was a case of ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’. We had stopped for lunch in The Water of Leith Bistro in Cannonmills having collected S’s kilt from the very tatty and rather unassuming The Scotland Kilt Company, who sourced the Ancient Logan tartan and commissioned a fine kilt for S. B was in excellent humour, having slept soundly in his ‘pillow igloo’ till 0915, run round The Lodge Grounds and having had just a wee bit of screen time while dad tried on his kilt and chose sporran and skean dhu. B entertained us with the incessant chatter of a happy 7yr old munching on homemade fish fingers, beans and chips.

I dropped the boys off at the cinema to watch ‘How to Train Your Dragon.. Hidden Word’ and headed home to wee dug.

And there lies my Peace – at home, in the ambience that I have created, in my garden, with my bits and pieces, some chosen, many given and eventually in my loft with its sea glimpse and distance from worrisome noises and occasional disquiet downstairs, and the external noises emanating from the hustle and bustle of an ever expanding town.

Life is fragile and short and I am learning to embrace the many adversities that have befallen my friends, family and me and try not to look for reasons to apportion blame but to rise up, provide comfort when needed and accept that without some pain and suffering we would never know how to seize the moment and laugh.

The rain is falling heavily outside so I am unlikely to see any stars or planets tonight, but I know they are there, ever revolving on their axes and tomorrow morning I will stop for a moment and listen to the world waking.

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