A Law of Probability

High over the heads of those looking elsewhere, anywhere than towards it, 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 all those unspoken why’s and the how’s that flutter around one’s head. 

 

Palm trees sway in the hot, dry wind. They creak in protest to their movement, which is probably caused by air warming from the energy of light rays sent here, drawn here, by that orb of blinding light. The air wobbles and confuses the horizon. In fleeting moments the image ahead is crystal clear, while more often than not clarity is replaced by a semi-pixelated haze of colours one assumes is associated with the tropics. The rising heat continues gyrating the air, offering the viewer a vision obscurer to indicate what lies ahead. Exotic and colourful birds, probably gregarious and 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 the millions upon millions of minute grains of sand that compromise the beach. The water itself is probably a delightfully warm temperature. 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 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 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, their mark left from shriveled limbs that passed their point of use, that expired beyond their designed obsolescence. Probably, these plants turning light into raw energy as their life source, so long as they can bank on water always being under root. Somewhere in these beautifully clear, crystalline waters, dolphins local to the shores off this island play with one another. Such sights are exotic to some, but here they are a common sight & a 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 may watch on voyeuristically and are welcome 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. 

 

The waters of this deep and probably magnificent sea that are so wondrous to behold support such incredible experience for any cognisant human being to be within. While swimming within it, one might ponder 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 as it orchestrates gravitational forces pulling this water ever closer to the centre of the Earth’s sphere. And while this perpetual act of constructive violence continues, somewhere, probably, something wonderful is happening. 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, to be confirmed by confidently updated social media relations via a quick and witty status update, nature’s acts of causality far too complex for any of us to comprehend are fluidly, simply and irreversibly enacted. But, probably before or after or between this previous image of a couple together, another image exists. Probably, we should go back to the golden disc above sending 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 collect 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 the gulf stream. Water vapour originating from the previous, probably fictitious, location travels the length and breadth of the globe several times over until, probably, passing over an area where the gulf stream comes into contact between 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 natural joy and beauty, probably entertain on the spectacle of such a binary shift in their newfound situation. Water vapour condenses into larger liquid globules before falling vigorously into the face of this land’s inhabitants, which probably brands a distinctive mark on their 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 pours. Probably, this rain is a blessing to those with dry lips. This process encourages a consistent pallet of grey to hang in the sky: the golden life source above rarely gets a look in 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 their quick trip into town for some milk and bread, having forgotten an umbrella again.. 

 

And as the grey clouds work their magic once again, droplets of rain patter against the outside of a double glazing window. The sole inhabitant looks out from within at another rain cloud high above. Though this woman can only ever be just another vignette in this passage of life, she is an elderly person, with a rich story of her own. She turns her gaze towards an assortment of multicoloured magnets adorning the fridge door that she and her late partner curated over the previous few 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 in a plastic pot on the windowsill face away from the solitary woman of this household, proudly craning their necks towards sky’s promise. The patter on the kitchen window soothes the chatter of questioning voices in her head that otherwise confuse the lived loneliness of her experience. 

 

She looks deeply into one particular magnet on her fridge door, and picks it off the door 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. With a bounty of smiles, glistening diamond eyes and tropical fruit in abundance, she recounts the time she experienced this place, almost in actuality, many years ago from her living room chair, 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 that came to her in magnet form as a holiday gift from one of her daughters. As she places the magnet back onto the fridge door and returns to her living room 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. During adolescence she and they would help out her father on the farm before walking six miles there and after walking six miles back to school each day. She left home for a nursing apprenticeship, and there while tending patients with various illnesses, she met the man whom she would share her life with. For several years, with her husband often several days away, working the coal in 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 noisey young family here, in this bungalow, with heated arguments spilling over into regular shouting matches between herself and her husband. 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, that her children had their own children and then they came to unload her grandchildren on her and him, and so she could be entertainment and 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 bursting ever forward into the fleeting loss of the present that gives little in the way of nostalgic remembrance for all the wonderful, the terrible and the mundane moments that became 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. Water droplets collect on the other side. And when the blood thickens and the heart fails, her loneliness will afford her cold body several days peace in her living room perch, with the television still transmitting her favourite soap opera on repeat.

 

Yet fire still burns with a vigour deep within her and with no indication of giving up soon. She rises from her seat and shuffles towards the kitchen. A break in the clouds suggests that, contrary to the South 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 he often does, hears the old woman's call. In his little patch of damp grass, he puts 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 form 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 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.