A Law of Probability
High over the heads of those looking elsewhere, the sun beats down onto the surfaces of its directional gaze. They all know it’s there. They’re aware of its presence like nothing else. That is to say, that the sun is the best answer here to those unspoken why’s and the how’s.
Palm trees sway in the hot, dry wind. They creak in protest to their imposed movement, probably caused by air warming from the energy of light rays sent here, drawn here, by that orb of blinding light above. A burst of crystal clarity of the land and sky ahead is replaced by a semi-pixelated haze of colours probably associated with the tropics. The rising heat gyrates the air and confuses the horizon. Colourfully feathered birds, probably gregarious and probably raucous, can be heard making themselves heard. These birds probably add an occasional high note to the murmur of waves gently giving up into the millions upon millions of minute grains of sand that compromise the beach. The water itself is probably a pleasant and just-right type of warm. Probably English breakfast with a dash of full-fat dairy milk and one, oh-go-on-make-it-two sugars, caresses the sea water as the gentle, bleached white quartz crystal slope slips away into the darker depths of the ocean. Ankles probably wade in gleefully. A full froth, creamy residue is left on the beach as the wave recedes, to return again probably a moment later.
Coconuts probably lie at the base of proud palm trees. Years of effort, of life spent described on their trunk. Rings and wrinkles of relinquished leaves mark the passing of time, of dried out limbs expiring beyond their designed obsolescence. Probably, these plants transform the sun’s light into raw energy as their life source, so long as water remains under root. Somewhere in these beautifully clear, crystalline waters, dolphins local to the shores off this island probably play with one another. Such sights are probably surprising to some, but here they are a common sight & an entirely unsurprising addition to the quotidian. Probably, these animals use the light gifted to them by the blinding sphere above to coordinate synchronised dances together. For those less confident with an audience, they probably watch on voyeuristically and are welcomed to conceal their contempt for the more brash and phlegmatic among their kind. Probably they do not dance together at night, because at night there is no light so it would be too difficult for them to coordinate without knocking into one another.
The waters of this deep and probably magnificent sea that are so wondrous to behold probably support such incredible experience for any cognisant individual to be within. While swimming within it, one probably ponders the rhyme and reason as to how this body of water remains one entire, amorphous blob and to reach the conclusion that it is, in fact probably because of the sun orchestrating gravitational forces to pull this water ever closer to the Earth’s center. And while this perpetual act of constructive violence continues, somewhere, probably, something wonderful is happening. Probably, this something wonderful tends towards a photogenic version of wonderful: one that ignores anything that wouldn’t pass as a successfully well-liked image with a tropical hashtag providing its digital agency. Probably people saunter carefree around a tropical land where sand meets the most enticing of water. Probably a couple walk hand-in-hand, toe-to-toe, with their left and right strides in perfect, enamoured unison. They’re filled with the joys of love, eye-to-eye, nose-to-nose, heads craned as they gaze into the face of their other. Besides their enamoured other, they’re completely unaware of any external, environmental stimuli. They probably march confidently forwards with little to no idea what lies in front of them, wandering gaily through the natural beauties of a tropical paradise and probably reflecting on how completely at ease they both feel in such a delightful setting. Probably, they watch the sky melt from perfect blue to sanguine orange and, with fashionable yet practical sunglasses on, they gaze deep into the red of the perfect sphere, as it slips into the sea.
And probably before this couple connect natural happenstance to the curated narration of their shared experience, confirmed by confidently updated social media relations via quick and witty status updates, nature’s acts of causality far too complex for either of them or anyone else to comprehend are fluidly, simply and irreversibly enacted. But, probably before or after or in between this previous image of a couple together, another image exists. Probably, we should go back to the golden disc above, as it sends light to this patch of land meeting sea. Said sunlight would probably heat up the particles that makes up the deliciously inviting body of water that is this ocean and as a result, some of the water will probably evaporate, rising high above the tranquil oasis island of this probable place and, probably, rise higher up into the atmosphere, before collecting as water vapour within the stratosphere. This collective vapour probably begins to travel in a certain direction, probably led by differing air pressures that probably form certain air currents above the gulf stream. Water vapour originating from the previous and probably fictitious location travels the length and breadth of the globe several times over until, probably, passing an area where air currents come into contact with the oceans meeting rising land. Precipitation collects as a consistent, omnipresent blanket over this new place. Grey clouds, having originated from a place of such blue sky beauty, probably entertain on the spectacle of such a shift in their newfound situation. Water vapour condenses into larger liquid globules before falling vigorously onto the face of this land, probably branding a distinctive mark on its character.
Probably, rain falls consistently with a steely determination to carry out a promise no one asked it to keep. On the scale of least-to-best pleased, humans here would be coming an easy, disgruntled number one. Other animals, those that are less irritated by rain but still nonetheless inconvenienced by its presence, would be somewhere in the middle and at the other end of the scale, the land itself would be grateful for the consistent deliverance of rainwater seeping into its pores. Probably, this rain is a blessing to those with dry lips. This process encourages a consistent palette of grey to hang in the sky: the golden life source above rarely gets to look down on this land. Probably, the rule of the grey cloud has its proletariat under the thumb, banning the experience of sunlight as it allows only water to meet the skin on their heads during a quick trip down into town for a pint of milk and a packet of bread, having forgotten the umbrella again.
And as the grey clouds work their magic once again, droplets of rain patter against the outside of a double glazed plastic window. The sole inhabitant looks out at another rain cloud looming above. She turns her gaze towards an assortment of multicoloured magnets adorning the fridge door that she and her late partner curated over the previous decades. The radiator murmurs as hot water sputters around its clogged veins. Refusing to be dislodged quietly, bubbles are forced to find new places of rest among the warming pipes laced throughout the bungalow. The daffodils, with the sale label still adhesed to the side of its plastic pot, sit on the windowsill proudly craning their necks towards sky’s promise.
She looks deeply into one particular magnet on her fridge door, and picks it off like a ripe apple from a laden tree. The magnet is shapely, with a horizontal band of yellow at the bottom, another band of blue in the middle and a larger band of lighter blue on top. A couple of palm trees break the horizontal bands of sand, seas and skies. A golden orb hangs promisingly in the sky. She recounts the time she experienced this place, almost in actuality, many moons ago from her living room, when it came on the telly. She was sitting in her large armchair, with the blow heater by her feet and a cup of tea on the small table beside her. This place of untold happiness. The magnet came to her as a gift from one of her daughters, who in turn got it as a freebee in a lifestyle magazine a few years ago. As she places the magnet back onto the fridge door and returns to her armchair, the patter on the windowpane soothes as the probable ticking of a clock.
Times gone by she was with her four siblings: two older and two younger sisters, though the last time she’s seen them must be quite a many years by now. During adolescence she and her sisters would help out her father on the farm before walking six miles there and after walking six miles back to school each day. As the land was owned by a man understood within the community as important, and who, when rent was due, paid the briefest of visits, the family subsided by working together in tilling the ground, herding the sheep and milking the cows. She left home at sixteen for a nursing apprenticeship with the newfangled National Health Service, and after a few busy years of training and while tending to patients recovering from tuberculosis, she met the man whom she would share her life with. For several years, with her husband often several days away working the coal into the engines to and from Paddington, she would come back home from her own long and busy days caring for young and old, and never considered the quiet in this house as anything other than respite from the hours on her feet. She looked after a noisy young family here, in this bungalow, with heated arguments spilling over into regular shouting matches between herself and her love. And then the children left home, in what felt a sudden rendering of emptiness in this abode, giving an indication of things to come. It was just her and him alone. Until, that is, her children had their own children and then they came to unload her grandchildren onto her and him. And so she became the entertainment and a bastion of familial love for the new smaller persons in her life. And now, with her husband no longer of this life, the aching silence has consumed her into an experience of now. Her now bursts ever forward into the fleeting loss of the present, giving little in way of nostalgic remembrance for all the wonderful, the terrible and the mundane moments that became the fleeting story of her life. She talks aloud in her small dwelling, breaking the cold silence for fading moments: answering questions and questioning answers to quandaries she repeats over and over. Through her windowpane, grey clouds roll on. Water droplets collect on the other side.
She awakes sitting in her living room perch and, rising up from her seat, shuffles towards the kitchen. A break in the clouds suggests that, contrary to the South West Walian inhabitants' recent memories, the sun does actually exist in these parts. She rifles around in the small freezer compartment in her fridge and removes one choc-ice, wrapped in crisp cold paper. She opens the backdoor, walks over to the partition fence and calls out a young boy's name. She pays no heed to the threat of returning grey clouds in the above distance. The young boy, playing by himself as she knows he often does, hears the old woman's call. In his little patch of damp grass, putting down the dandelion heads, he knows what reward lays before him with his name spoken into the air. He greets her with affection. She returns the compliment with words of loving his mother and keeping his fleece on in this weather. After a short conversation between the young and the old, the monotony contentedly habitual between these two, she slips the choc-ice under the wooden fence; he watches the small paper object appear with the old, wrinkled hand beneath. As he collects his reward from under the fence, the old, leathered hand clasps his. The softness of his hand is a strange contrast to her aged skin. The old woman talks of being a good boy and, after a brief moment, lets go of his warm hand. She recedes back into her dimly lit dwelling. A sensation of youthful vitality, of sheer life, burns like caustic vapour into her palm. The boy, now returned to his quiet patch of dandelions and clover and as drizzle sets in once again, breaks the chocolate skin of his deserved treat. In the living room, with her body folded into the armchair, the static lifts in the air as she turns on the telly again.