Disabled (gray) Heron with ducks, leaving the pond.
It whirred, it buzzed, it whined and rumbled. It sent the trees all a quiver, grass flew up wildly as it got closer to land. Hovering, rising, falling and rising again. A man lent out of a side door, much as a passenger would in a car, guiding the driver safely into the parking space. People appeared in areas I’d not seen them in before. Peeping through hedges, running up the back alley, loitering by walls and generally engaged in watching. Who wouldn’t watch, whose attention could not have been attracted when a helicopter lands. What authority this machine has, coming out of the blue.
The other day out of the blue, almost simultaneously, came news of an old friend close to death and cold symptoms, inextricably taking hold. The buzzing and whirring was painfully confined in my head and limbs! Amazing how something like a cold can descend so fast and so completely. News of the dying woman I have known since my teens seeped in, slowly. Not able to see her I sent a text with my love, to her son to pass on. Thankfully it reached her just before she died. Apparently she laughed…. I think that was a good sign!
A death, the death of an elder, a 91 year old elder suffering multiple strokes, doesn’t attract that much attention. The long life slips away. People close remember with great fondness and we know it was, the death was – for the best. Back in the late ’80s I was in the family car following the hearse transporting her newly dead husband. Afterwards, after the cremation, she said You could do a better job than that. He didn’t know ‘dad’ at all! You do my funeral. I will do my best when the time comes.
So I am left wondering the fate of the elderly man who was rescued the other day, trapped as he was underneath his Land Rover. The Air Ambulance helicopter eventually flew off Eastwards in the gathering gloom. They said he was taken to Middlesbrough Hospital. People stood in the street as the ‘copter’ rose up past the trees and into the air, a sad and shocked feel ran through the street. The police, at least four cars, and an ambulance were still at the scene as I walked back from the shops. Police tape cordoned off the scene, blocking off the road. OK to get home this way, I asked the imposing policeman? Sure love, just keep over to the left would you.
Then, out of the blue, a reader sent me this photograph of the Heron snapped this morning in her pond. Perfect! I thought, A Blue Heron to go with my out-of-the-blue-post. But no. News of a Blue Heron in the south of England would have bird fanciers flocking to catch a glimpse. This one is a Gray Heron – with a dodgy leg.
News out of the blue can come as a shock. The news can seep in slowly or take one by storm. It can be for the best or numbingly unacceptable. Can attract attention or pass into ones bones unnoticed. Unknowingly we probably carry a lot of out-of-the-blue news, in our bones.
7 thoughts on “Out Of The Blue”
Thank you Rev Mugo!
I’m sorry for the loss of your old friend!
Anne, how good to see you are still reading. The woman was the wife of my first ‘real’ employer. £7.10 shillings* pw, working every other Saturday morning! He taught me photography and M brought me cups of tea while I worked away in the studio. I became very much part of the family.
*(back then we had twenty shillings to the pound of course).
Rev. Mugo, please accept my sympathy on the death of your old friend, and thank you for showing that accepting impermanence is not incompatible with feeling grief. Safe travels, and my thoughts with you for a fine funeral.
I’m sorry to hear about the death of your friend, my thoughts are with you. I remember how your kind words were so valuable in the summer when my Mom passed away! As often your words inspire short poems:
Out of the blue
At the edge
Out of the blue
At the edge
A death and a life
Given and taken
My bones ringed
By tragedy and blessing
Like the trees
Their hidden years
Until opened to the
Another happy out of the blue story. I talk to my Dad every Sunday on the phone and he told me a friend of his from his Widows/ Widowers group had fallen and broken his hand. None of his children live there, so my Dad went and picked him up from the hospital and took him to his home until his son could arrive. Well, the group meets every Thursday for half-price Mexican food and two for one beers. The servers always have Harry’s beer ready at 5:05 p.m. when he arrives. My Dad was there and saw the beer and told them that Harry wouldn’t be coming because he had broken his hand so badly. But before they could take the beer away, Harry was standing in the door, pushing his walker with one hand and his son balancing him on the other side. Good can also come out of the blue!
story, like the poem. Thanks Jack, and you be well too.
Thanks for sailing along with me all these long years. My friend was in life more like a second mother since I knew her and her husband when I was in my late teens and early twenties. They were my Northern Parents, unofficially.
Brilliant essay. Thank you.