Thursday, 14 January 2010

The fear

Before I forget the nuances I'm forcing myself to share the fear. It's an old lady fear, a gut wrenching, bowel liquifying terror. It's new, this year, not felt before and I am hatefully feeble in its grasp.
This morning I was rigid with it, shoulders stiff and unlovely, neck hunched strangely, legs jellied and cowardly. I stood tentatively perched on the ground, not firmly rooted as I love to be, and felt the anger at my fear flooding through from head to heart and back.
It's the ice. The slick, polished, sheen of sheet ice that stretches from door to barn, to barn, to barn. Yesterday's thaw sent chill melt water running across all hard surfaces and overnight the slow streams have bonded into a continuous terror run; my very own glacier.
As I pulled on the layers, with two pairs of trousers to coddle grazed knees, I was brave and fearless. As I opened the door and took my first step, I was old and feeble, sad and scared, unable, thankfully, to curl into helplessness, as I set about feeding the livestock. But every step was tortuous, no following the crow's flight, rather plotting the least nerve-racking route, buckets in hand.
I felt like this at Christmas when the ice was almost as bad as today, and had a small fall on the road, grazing knees, but more importantly, grazing my confidence in my own infallibility to tend to the practical things around the farm, whatever the circumstances. I'm a handful of years off fifty but today I feel ancient and bruised and sad, and want, with all my heart, for the ice to melt and join the river waters and stay away.

11 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

Can't you just boil the kettle a few times and melt the ice before you step forward?

Mopsa said...

It would be like trying to melt your way through your local city street WW - it's a big place....with steep slopes. There's sand and wood ash sprinkled about but oh my, it doesn't deal with half the problem.

Flowerpot said...

I quite agree Mopsa - but then I'm the wrong side of 50!

Tom burton said...

I was out and about a few days ago ans saw an old boy about 75 merrily toddling down the road whilst all us a third his age were all struggling to stay upright.

Enquiries revealed a pair of old socks of the boots (slippers can also be used instead of boots for trips to the post office, but not if there is a chance of damp)and 4" nail nailed into the end of the walking stick and then sharpened to a point. Forming something of an ice pole thingy watsit.

:-) We might laugh but he was going quicker than us!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Sounds like you need a good massage! Fortunately, I am in contact with The Yorkshire Pudding Massage Parlour who can dispatch a professional masseur to your Devonshire home within twenty four hours. They will need to know if you have any hazel wands growing on your property that may be cut and used during the massage session. Lashings of boiling water must also be available.

locksparkfarm said...

Tis all but a dream now with all thought of fear dissipated. I was trying to find an excellent link to some 'things' you put on the soles of wellies, boots etc. Will send it when I find it.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

socks over your wellies
x

Your Prayer Partner - Doris said...

This is my first time to visit your blog, but you struck a chord with me with the fear the ice brings.
Even when I was just a child, I was afraid of the ice. I couldn't walk in it then, and for sure now that I am 65+ I pray there is no occasion to get out on those wintry days! Good post.

http://Grammyof13.blogspot.com

mountainear said...

Bit late to comment on this one - but yes, this is the first time I've felt that cautiousness too - dreading that awful slipping lurch and the inevitablity of a crash landing. And how long everything took - and that is after one has put on/taken off the layers of clothes, boots, hats scarves and gloves. Roll on spring.

littleffarmdairy said...

I sympathise, Mopsa! It was just the same here & with sloping yards thick with treacherous ice it took me about an hour just to reach the goat barn (which didn't impress the ladies one jot).

We're roughly the same age but I know what you mean, I too felt old, & vulnerable. With the OH away flying I've hd to cope with the snow, the ice, the burst pipes, the floods, alone...I think that rather than "old" it's just a heightened sense of self-preservation as your livestock rely on you & you cannot afford to get injured.

I now have snow chains & crampons with which to battle the elements in future...!!

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

you havent post for a while
u ok?