Plumes of ash crawl across the sky from Iceland onto the eastern seaboard of this small island. Soon it might even fall on this house and onto the clothes line and even onto the tiny onions that creep with timidity out of the earth and may drown what is already there, what has taken so much effort to produce. We watch Sky news. Plume is the new word. We watch new plumes join old plumes and grow like massive blue grey broccoli plants into the heavens.
Neighbours who planned to travel to Egypt might not go. Another neighbour whose daughter was to fly in from London on Thursday for a family celebration might not make it. We are at the mercy of the gods. I heard a woman on the radio who had to fly to New York for an emergency operation on Monday say she cannot make it. She was in tears. I listen and watch.
So cosy am I in this house, despite the chills that invade my body, that come like waves across my bones to form permanent goose bumps on my legs. I wear sweaters when everyone else dons t.shirts. My hands and feet are blocks of ice. I feel delirious. I wander about the house and insist on making dinner as planned. I light candles to try and ease the chill but no matter how I try, my body taunts the effort. I do make dinner without pleasure and climb the stairs to salvation. The bed welcomes me and I fall into it like a plume of broken feathers without a pattern and the bed devours me and wraps me up into a patchwork quilt where the connections have faded but the warmth still satisfies, is guaranteed. The warmth is a thousand million plumes of feather down wrapped in scarlet coals that defrost my frozen soul-abates the fear.