I woke early this morning (0543 to be precise) after a nightmare featuring a book I read nearly 20 years ago entitled An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan. Once I started it I could not put it down. It remains the most disturbing book I have read*. For those who don't know, Brian Keenan was kidnapped in Beirut in the Lebanon in 1986 and kept hostage in terrible conditions for 4½ years.
When I woke I was aware of the sound of rain on the roof over the deck of The Cottage: a medium, persistent rain - Good Rain. By that I mean the sort of rain that starts to soak the ground without being so heavy that it all flows off the hard-baked earth on which it falls without penetrating the surface. The sort of rain where one can almost see the grass growing once again.
I lay for a short while thinking how Brain Keenan and other hostages kept in similar circumstances (he was blindfolded much of the time and often manacled too) must have felt.
Nearly two hours later I'm still sitting drinking hot water and lemon and as daylight begins to penetrate the cloud (how fast the days are drawing in) and feeling so very very thankful for the warm rain which the earth here needs so much and for the freedom that I have (had I the courage) to go and dance naked in it**.
* A possible exception being William Golding's Lord of the Flies. The difference being that An Evil Cradling was not fiction.
** A reference, for those who may not know nor remember, to a note I used to have on my kitchen wallboard in Eagleton "Happiness is dancing naked in the warm rain"