The Dark Months is a series written during Autumn/Winter 2020 and 2021. This piece was written just before Halloween, that time where past and future collide and the line between death and life becomes blurred.
The Dark Months – Two
Awoke restless, itching with lots of things to do, yet strangely lacking the energy to do them. Coffee eventually fixed that.
Cats fed, dishwasher loaded, clothes into washing machine, kitchen worktops wiped down, showered … I needed a walk before sitting at my desk all day for work.
Domesticity is no compensation for the lift – the life – that light and air gives you.
One in; one out.
An unspoken order asserted itself as we passed through the park gates, broken only by one middle aged man who barged his way past.
A grimace of apology as he pulled down his cap, hunched his shoulders and quickened his pace.
With his passing, a rippling sense of magic and wonder developed about the darkly stormy, yet blindingly light day.
Leaves rolled and tussled, an occasional gust lifting them in vivid, argumentative spirals as they shone bright against the dead, flat grey of tarmac and sky. Blinding low sunlight cut into our eyes. Then, a golden shaft of light picked out a damp bench. We leaned against it, feeling the warmth of the sun on our faces.
After what felt like an age, we stirred.
The rhythmic thud and wheeze of an approaching runner brought us back.
Our eyes swam in bewildering ripples of ever increasing light, and eventually resolved to catch a leaf, bright orange and in sharp relief.
Then all was momentarily dark.
The runner passed.
And all about was as it was before.
Or was it?
One in; one out.
An unspoken order asserted itself as we passed through the park gates. This time there were subtle smiles and acknowledgements.
All was in order, yet there was magic in the air too.
The day brightened.