The moonbeam was a shard of stillness on a black night eclipsed by the clouds. Even when no moon is seen, its absence was felt. The distant stars burned into the void casting a haunting spree for a pair of beady eyes. The gaze was sharp and eerie. The silence was piercing, occasionally interrupted by a hoot.
The plates of Mother Earth were stirred. Restlessness felt. There was a need for shape-shifting in energy beneath the swelling of her belly in the underworld, searching for a realignment. The older pieces of the puzzle were beginning to stir from hibernation. There was a surge of hoarded energy within her core that needed release. A soft murmur at first. So slight and quivering. Deeper and deeper from the depths of the abyss, an urgent echo was heard. A tremble, triggered by a trickle of magma in her core, pushed against the solid mantle that kept her sacred flow intact. Like a tightened string of a double bass about to give way to a penultimate sound of the deepest and lowest cry, she released in a burst of relief. A threshold through the mantle gave way creating a slow domino effect of unpredictable cracks. And of passageways that eventually surfaced after millions of years, in her lithospheric crust. She shook. Sometimes violently like a raging and tormented demon. Sometimes, she shuddered in vexation. Other times, she twitched heaving a sigh of relief. In varying intensities, she dances with the spiral flow of the milky way and her emotions manifest in cracks and slices of her crust.
Her children in all their evolutionary forms bow to her reverence. The slithering earth-hugging bodies, the furry burrowing beings and the sea creatures feel the rhythm of her dance first. The four-legged, six-legged, eight-legged and many-legged ones react rapidly thereafter. The winged ones sense the changes in her magnetic fields early enough to wing up and migrate off course. Only the two-legged self-consumed ones are late to feel or hear, till it is too late.
In bed we were tucked in, reading little stories in February. We experienced her first tremor, book still in hand. Her vibration flowed through our veins and confused the brain cells. Big A thought it was a bang from an extra large muffler twin-engine motorcycle parked outside the window and realisation dawned upon him when it was all quiet again. Five months later, Papa G reported in the morning that another tremor had occurred but did not awaken us from our sleep. In September, just after twilight, we all felt her vexations again. A six-second shudder. Brief in time but those seconds were long enough to get thoughts racing through the mind. Every second ticked with anticipation, nervousness and wonder. With lucky stars shining bright, a wild night it was not, silence fell and we dozed off again.
The earth dance is commonly felt in the Himalayas, a young and live mountain range that grew from the oceanic floor when the Indo-Australian plate collided with the underbelly of the Eurasia plate about 70 million years ago. The ground is never still. Most days are quieter than others. Mother Earth had an easier task of keeping an eye on her singular supercontinent called Pangea once upon 200 million years ago. She had her arms embraced in oneness. But tectonic forces came into play after an upheaval from her underworld and split her continents apart. Energies interplayed here and there and fast forward to today’s world, her continent pieces drifted to place themselves in geographical locations as we know today.
Big A has mammoth dreams that would have Mother Earth breakdancing on the Milky Way. He has a vision for the drift of Peninsula Malaysia: to detach herself from Thailand, drift across the Bay of Bengal, crash through the mouths of the Ganges and snuggle up to northern India, squeezing between Lucknow and Patna, fast forward a few more billion years, puncturing the Terai to somehow park the peninsular at the foot of the Himalayas, precisely on the Annapurna range, and that too on the Nepal side. He could then take a convenient hike down to his old neighbourhood to re-live his memories in the tropics for the day, and come back up to Astam for dinner after sunset. If only there was a wizarding flick from a holly twig entwined with a phoenix feather core. Big A, having read the Harry Porter series for the 4th time believes in magic.
As dust settles with the plates, a new balance replays itself over and over again.
Clouds came floating into life that carried neither rain nor storm, but a canvas to the sunbeam sky. The sound of assurance rose again, as the chorus of dawn erupts. The familiar songs of the cicadas, grasshoppers, roosters and birds toned down the humming of uncertainty and lulled the inconsistencies of life.
For those who seek the first ray, it was a promising one. The hermaphrodite podworm in the sweet pea pops his-her head out for the first time and coils back in an instant to the vastness outside the cosy pod. In the following minutes, the podworm does a recoiling dance like a bobbing hip hop, gradually building courage to embrace the warmth of the new day.
The tendrils of the cucumber plant continue their climbing journey, not hanging for life but compelled in their all-embracing wispy long thin fingers to string the sounds of life in the wind. In their sensitive feel for growth, one of five tendrils lovingly curls around the horizontal bamboo trellis. Not too long the other four catch the flow and coil themselves into a helix to form a secured foothold. Guided by sunbeams, they sway and expand with the help of their furry bumbling companions that hum the songs of nectar from one flower to another and flirtatiously tickle her yellow insides, then fly off to another. After many dusks and dawns, her offsprings reveal green tender buds and juicy cucumbers.
The shape of stories arrives in unsuspecting places while there is quiet. And quiet heals the gaping hole in the fabric of life till another dance surfaces. A dance that has no rules to break, no rules to defy, no rules to identify.
It often happens that in searching for something, something else is found.