Not a hint of nerves -
but you were being extra vigilant
for loose rocks as you positioned yourself
right on the uppermost edge of Cheddar Gorge.
Watching you focus your camera,
all I felt was acute anxiety and nausea.
Across the other side, the rampart cliff.
Far below, ant-like cars winding
their way along a miniature strip of tarmac.
"Suicide point" some have called this spot.
I could see why.
An optical illusion gave the distinct impression
that we were only twelve inches or so up.
"Step over," a voice
seemed to suggest in my head,
"You won't hurt yourself!"
And I was put in mind
of Mother Earth's vagina - the entrance
to the sanctity of her womb.
A powerful sense of belonging, of being part of something
sacred and infinite, overcame me.
Suddenly, I understood what it meant to be female -
the purpose of my existence.
Lost in the beauty
of Her most intimate moment - penetration
by the Sun God in brilliant golden light.
And we exchanged glances, no need
for words. We were awestruck, caught up
in the inexpressible joy of sharing
in Her afterglow.
You captured it all.
But, alas, no camera can accurately record such bliss:
all that was visible on playback
was a gorgeous multi-coloured shaft of light,
descending deep into the core of Her being.
Breathless, we perched ourselves on a rock
and gulped ice cold water from the flask
I'd filled that morning in the trailer.
It tasted better than vintage champagne.
We were intoxicated
with the sheer rock faces crammed in our heads,
the waterfalls, the gorse bushes, the caves,
the purchases from gift shops
jammed into our rucksacks.
We were blinded by the brilliance
of the Sun's reflections on the river,
and the midges that darted into our eyes
out of the trees and crevices and empty beer cans
discarded by yesterday's tourists.
Oh how we'd sweated as we climbed Jacob's Ladder!
Then we wanted our reward from the top of the tower:
aah, that view! Such a delightful visual translation
of the Creator's Plan - this canyon
and the Mendip Hills beyond
that gradually faded into the graded blue
of a summer horizon.
on top of the world,
we could be Gods too,
of a kind.
murmuring on the breeze:
the first revelation,
cutting through our vertigo
into awe-struck minds.
And every hair on my body
stood on end.
all previous memories erased.
The time, the place, the crowds below -
just being there, on that cliff edge,
such intimacy with Mother Earth:
you, me and Her...suspended
in that single moment in time, transported
to another realm.
No longer a before or after.
All things familiar gone.
Just standing there.
So glad I scribbled those notes in my journal.
They are the only proof that we were ever actually there
and it wasn't just a dream.
It was all so surreal.
Nothing else tangible is left,
only those words and pictures.
But at odd moments I re-live it all
as if I am there again - like a hand
snatching me from eternal sleep.
Living through all these ordinary years,
Then I come alive and feel again
that breeze in my hair.
And I reach for your hand...