Sunday 28th April – my partner and I were in a bus in Enfield, carrying a Maypole with ribbons (from it’ previous outing a week prior to it), and we were on our way to an outdoor Maypole Dance social in Trent Park.. We were on the upper deck of a double-decker London red bus.. literally 5 minutes away from Oakwood tube station.
At some point, I heard a strange sound crunching sound.. It was similar but deeper to what you would hear if you took a drink-can and crushed in with your hands.. or maybe it was similar to the sound of driving a wheelbarrow over a half-dozen small branches in the garden… as they rub and crack in a sequential sound..!
I remember swearing to myself thinking the bus had gone over some branches on the road..
The bus continued for a further 50 years.. and we were beginning to forget it…when it stopped. And then suddenly realisation hit me.. and I looked back through the back window.. Traffic was building up some 50 yards behind.. We got out quick.. and I had a better look ..
Back in the distance was a motorbike.. fallen on the road, and a few yards further back was a fully leather-clad face-down helmet-wearing human body.. motionless. People were gathering.
Both my partner and I got that kick in the gut sick feeling.. We didn’t want to stay…so we walked fast forward…about 20 minutes to the next station.. and eventually got to Trent park.
The weather was not brilliant.. (it had been so sunny the day before.. and the day afterwards…but on that day it was wet and cold..
Some friends had already arrived and put up a wind-breaker.. Another friend had brought a 3-piece tall Maypole..
We sat, socialized, made flower crowns, had few nibbles.. We even practiced playing the Didgeridoo..
There was severe turn of weather.. It actually `rained’ hailstones.. first small ones.. then really large ones!
We retired to the cafe, warmed up with more coffee, and then I bid farewells, and got home with my partner April..
But no Maypole dancing took place.!
What has been going through our minds.. is that the Motorcyclist must have driven between the Bus and a car on the other side…but due to the angle got trapped between the two..and the two large vehicles of steel slowly rubbed, scraped and crushed the motorbike and its passenger.
A micro-moment of risk taking and miscalculating by him had most likely caused him his life..!
Over 2 decades ago, I lost my father to a street accident.. on an ordinary working day on a high street near Elephant & Castle, London, on a normal afternoon.. Drivers of a A bus, a car and a motorcycle were all giving conflicting accounts of how my father had run and fallen to the road. The Coroner’s inquest filed an open `accidental death’ .. So none more that I (and my family) are aware of the devastating effects of a human-road-kill..
It has taken me weeks and I am still not the same.. nor will I ever be.. after hearing that …bone-crunching sounds.. !
At this time of Maypoles and Beltane festivities and pagan frolics, celebrating life and love and sex.. nature reminds us of its opposite point on the Wheel of the Year.. Samhain.. the honouring of the departed dead, and remembering the lost loved ones..!
But the Wheel will turn.. and Samhain will come.. once more..and then.. as we immerse ourselves i n thoughts of the dead, nature will remind us of the Life that is all around us.. !