first day of summer sun shone on our bare arms and hatted heads. sat cross-legged on the wall in a line, wanting to be schoolchildren. we gazed into the ripples which flow and create new shapes somehow rectangular on the top of the water. outside of the camera frame view the rest of the lake was begging for attention. she said that one day she’d be able to paint it. and i thought that one day I’d have the words to describe it.
my own private summer exists sitting on my windowsill. curtains pulled across, my world measures 2’ by 4’ by 6’ tall. and that is as big as it needs to be right now. all that is in it is me, a really good book and a packet of biscuits. the sky, the fields and trains going past are only reminders of an inconceivably bigger world so that is ok. the sun streams in but that is welcome too as it makes me warm. and melts my biscuits. so i eat them quicker.
the words begin to blur into paper and the hand begins to reach for the lamp switch. a swift turn of the head finds that it is not yet dark outside, not quite. the air needed clearing. and as the sky is painted a hundred watercolours a thousand words could not describe the beauty of it all as we watch a million raindrops lashing down and one long, arching rainbow towering above the rest, making us feel: what did we do to deserve this?
through the weeds that pass for towns we crawl down the country. on the train window my head reverberates as it scuttles along. through the sticks, across the stones. i can see out of the window no further than my nose and drift away as the tea trolley crawls down the carriage. asleep amongst the farms, mobiles, sleepy villages, magazines, anonymous fields, businessmen, tunnels, conductors…
awaking from slurred dreams, my sleeping bag rustles back at me as i move. my empty stomach gurgles like a sink and more lazily like a hot summer’s day. a wood pigeon echoes the call continuously and for a moment i think it is in there too. rubbing the sleep from my eyes i stop panicking and realise it is coming from outside in the trees rather than inside in my stomach. my head crawls out of the tent to find the sun swimming through the trees.
the sea, blue and powerful and big as a god could only lick tentatively at the sand. so, i hopped down from my rock and made my way, trainers sinking into the softer sand but not the harder, wetter stuff. at the shore i stood waiting for the tide, betting with the sea. stood and waited for it to come in and see if it would get me. i repeated this six or seven times without defeat but eventually the sea surrounded my shoes and, having lost to it, laughed and tipped my hat to a great competitor. i walked away with a smile on my face.
SUNDAY, 4:39 am
dozing and dreaming on yet another day of sun. it no longer feels like a shot in the arm, the summer in you. it begins to feel like a dull obedience and there is no longer any glee in a sunny day. anyway, time to pack up and find the train. to head back to the world and shun the sun. soon we’re back to grey skies and carpets of leaves, i can taste it now, it won’t be long. then the sun we’ll only be able to taste in sugary products to keep us sweet.
sun shines through the curtains. the end of summer but an extra day of grace. stop sleeping lazy bones, get out of bed. it is no victory to be out of bed before lunchtime. switch your brain on at the plug. kick yourself to get yourself up. run riot, go crazy. do something with the day.