HOLLAND SEPT 2011 pt. V - ITS NOT DARK YET, BUT IT’S GETTING THERE…
It was a moment of pure cinematic serendipity, a night drifting away so seamlessly that each person present might never have felt the need to return back to their tents, hotels and other overnight establishments. Some might call it divine intervention, others the handiwork of the devil, the truth being that we simply neglected to check the weather reports for that night. But whatever the influence, it was the effects which we felt.
With an ominous crack the thunder rolled in across the seas, a few singular drops of rain fell, and as we all stood open palmed, staring aimlessly upwards in unison, the downpour arrived in tremendous style. Without warning or delay the rains fell, large heavy drops bombarding the masses who scattered desperately towards the narrow pathway to escape the exposed terrain of the beach. Perhaps the drama has been cranked in my mind but to me it felt like the first night scene in Jurassic Park, at any moment i expected to see a man on a toilet being devoured whole by a T-Rex. As we came over the brow of the hill towards the makeshift civilisation of tents and temporary structures the first bolt of lightning struck, and for a split-second there we all stood, our drenched clothes hanging off us, shoes caked in wet sand and it was bright as day. This particular split-second did have another half however, and the light continued to flood our senses until it became too bright, until it was all that there was, total whiteness, the purest sight. Then the light was gone, back to the dim glow of infrequent streetlamps whose area of coverage did not overlap, leaving us to drop in and out of intermittent circles of dull yellow directly below them. As the saturated herd neared the foot of the hill it began to disperse into two categories, those who knew where they were going and those who didn’t. We were the latter. Taking temporary respite under the cover of the De Bolde backstage area we now realised the prospect of what lay ahead of us, navigating through the darkness and woodlands back to our hotel.
The rain had stopped but that did not spare us, wet and exposed to the elements we began along the pathway. After a brief stint along an incorrect route we soon found our bearings and were at least able to head in what we unanimously sort-of-thought was pretty much the right direction. So then we walked, and we walked, and we walked. The edge of each side of the road was marked with the towering trees belonging to the masses of forest and wilderness sprawling beyond. The braver of us dared look out into the forests for a brief moment, but there was nothing human eyes could see. The darkness was too thick, if anyone or anything was in there, they are either completely without sight, or so attuned to the darkness they have been watching us all the way. Our thought wandered onto the subject of ‘what ifs’. What if there was something in there? A wolf? A bear? It’s hard to know how to carry yourself when in this mindset. On one hand you want to stay quiet, hope you don’t attract attention. On the other, nervous conversation drowns out the noises you keep hearing, the distinct sounds that perhaps a wolf or a murderer would make. Not wanting to contradict our pre-historic urges to remain calm and macho in moments of adversity, we also had to keep finding legitimate reasons to need to speak to whoever was at the centre of our walking line, forcing us to abandon our position at the edge. This bout of underpants-ruining mind games went on for the best part of 45 minutes before we noticed our hotel name on the bus stops, whose route we followed until houses and safety were once again the constructs of our surroundings.