Saturday, 26 March 2011
Twilight: in which I discover the semicolon.
It is the most spectacular Autumn afternoon; the sky is clear and bright, the breeze is cheerful and the birds are lyrical. There are the faintest of clouds on the horizon, lustily pink behind the naked branches of my favourite tree; as I watch, the gradients change, as if the pigment is sliding down the sky, pooling just at the limits of vision. I love the feel of the air on my legs and arms, the way it brushes softly against the finest hair and tickles across my midriff.
I am outside, curled up in an ancient mildewed chair, half destroyed by the seasonal humidity and rains; but comfy still if musty. The bells on my ankle and wrist harmonise with the fairy chimes on the verandah and the delighted squawks from my gumbooted girls as they shriek and holler under the house.
Someone is having a barbecue for dinner and the smell of charred meat plays with the dust and mildew. It is not cold, but it is not warm either. I have bare skin everywhere and it is prickling a little as the sun sinks lower, the first protests of Summer's end. It is the sort of afternoon for friends to drop by and to laugh with bare feet up against the peeling verandah rail. Sipping cold drinks and watching the lorikeets dart across the sky.
The frangipani tree is turning yellow, blotching and dropping her leaves in protest of the shorter days while the last two fragrant flowers hang on grimly in stubborn protest. The last of the mosquitos has found me and is gorging itself on my pale flesh and I watch it idly as it swells. It will itch soon; I miss the itch of Summer a little. When the fragrance of the mozzie coils permeated dinner and the next storm was brewing on the horizon.
The storms have packed up and headed North for the Winter, stashing their shiny toys and musical instruments into their dark bags with a merry jangle. New towns to delight with games and light shows; new audiences to awe. I miss the smell of them, I miss their lusty breath and their sultry insinuations against my skin.
The sky is steely now; not blue or pink or gold; shades of grey and the Wind is silver; light and laughing. So energetic. It is like she has been caged all Summer and now can finally break free, long limbs striding, arms open wide as she dives and tumbles with the birds.
In my favourite tree a lone magpie is singing, a silhouette against the grey. I can no longer see the keys to type, but I keep on anyway, feeling for the tiny nubs that will tell me that I have the right place. The colours fading from the trees now; the brilliance leaving the day and feeding it to the light of the stars. They are not out yet, but I can hear them to the left of the stage, humming excitedly to themselves as they prepare to pirouette against the twilight sky.
The wind whips up my hill, caresses my face and tosses my hair. She is so excited it is palpable, and I as ever feel the desire to race off after her; to run my fingers over the tips of the trees and have them dance. To run full tilt into Autumn and have her catch me in her gossamer arms. Her laughter bells, waking me from my lazy Summer and with this thought the first star penetrates the dusk; twirling and sparkling, asking my wish as all over the glorious sky they break through the veil.