I doubt if you do, but we met one hundred and seventy years ago in
You might say we were intimate, but only for a fleeting moment. You seemed to enjoy it when I was in the shower with you.
Down the outlet I went and then I found myself surrounded by waste products of all descriptions. Joined by billions of my friends I ended in a torrent flowing into the
It was very pleasant there, so I stayed a while steadily drifting Southwards with my friends. I enjoyed the warmth and then the cool as I dove down with the undertow.
A couple of times I found myself at the surface and had to hang on tight to avoid being taken upwards with those tricky air currents. Other times I was flying.
I would soar up to the sky and join new friends and some old ones and together we would form a cloud. These were turbulent times. It was so cold up there that we would freeze and huddle together for comfort hitching a ride on a rising particle of dust.
If were lucky the group I had joined would become big enough to fall away from the clouds but other times we would ride the helter-skelter that took us to the top of a cumulo nimbus.
The extraordinary thing though is when you travel by cloud you can end up literally anywhere in the world. Last week I was in Moscow and here I am today with you in
You won’t know this, being buried in the ground as you are, but last week it snowed and I fell and settled on your grave.
I was part of a very pretty and very unique snowflake originally but during the day yesterday it started to get warmer, we thawed but got refrozen with some other ice.
But today, now, it is much warmer and all my fellow ice crystals have melted and soaked into the ground, and we seeped through your coffin so that I could say hello again. It is so rare for me to meet an old friend.
And we are old friends because not only did we share that shower one hundred and seventy years ago, I spent three days with you as part of your body.
And this was why I was so delighted to see you this third time.
I am proud to say I was part of a very nice curry your son made you in 1989. He made it from spices he had purchased in
Sri Lanka a month before and I was released from a can of coconut milk I was helping to dilute.
I had been in that tin can for nearly nine months since it was sealed in
Thailand. You cannot imagine how boring it is to be trapped in a can. It is dark, very dark, and most of the time it is very still.
And because you are floating about in a confined space you tend to see the same molecules over and over again, unlike the real world. But sometimes we got shaken about because we were being transported from where we were made, to where we were stored, eventually to Tesco’s where your son bought the can.
Funnily enough I had never been in a can before.
I have mentioned that I have often been part of a cloud, fallen as snow and rain, but I only entered the human food chain that once.
Gulf Stream is fun. But you have to be in the right place at the right time to hitch a ride on that one.
My time was well before I met you.
In those days the
Gulf stream was slowing down at the beginning of the ice age. I joined it after a storm off the west coast of
Ireland. We travelled together all the way up to Iceland and because of the increasing amounts of salt found ourselves sinking down and starting to flow the other way in much cooler water.
To be honest I hitched a second ride that time when I surfaced with some warmer water when we had travelled hundreds of miles south.
Next time round though I was frozen into a glacier and we pushed our way Southwards and I helped carve out the Norwegian Fjords.
And today, once we have said our goodbyes, who knows where I will travel.
Right, I am on my way to join that underground stream and off on a new adventure.
See you again sometime I expect.
Copyright © Stuart Danton 2007