Copyright all Text and Images J.A. Hindle 2008
Arriving back at the camp in the dead of night and it was hard at first to see where everything was. Soon, treading softly in the blackness off the path and the outlines of the benders would begin to show themselves - just patches of an extra nebulousness initially so it was hard to tell if they weren't simply your eyes playing tricks. Then they'd become clearer, the rounded outlines marking themsleves out like barrows or old sleepers.
Inside, the darkness was complete, it hung in your mouth with the smell of the leafmould floor rising up to meet you, a memory of the stars outside your only light. Once I had a dream of entering a bender to find a pool of black water on the floor, lilies floating on it and Tami sat the other side. The stars outside blinked in and out with the movement of the trees so that the sound of the wind in the branches was also the sound of the stars.
Back in the black inside, it was essential to have some source of light on you, some matches, a lighter, a stub of household candle in your pocket. Then, with a scratch of flint, the light would be born in your eyes; the round walls of the tarp, the gleam of the hazel, the reflecting surface of the burner, a tumble of bedding. All this would spread out as the glow of the candle sunk in and, after hours in the dark, you were suddenly home.