Evening. When does it start? About 5? 6? During that time when the shadows are lengthening and the heat begins to slacken, when there is warmth in the concrete wall at your back, and the blue sky begins to deepen into a darker blue at the edges. There is a special, liquid, languorous cool in it; those hours that unfold from after work until sun down. I sat by the backdoor this evening and felt the warmth rising off the ground, the smell of the grass just reaching up from the lawn outside, the motion of the tree in the occasional effort of the wind incensing the leaves like a hand running the wrong way across velvet.
Or walking out in the trees on a hot day. The dusty dirt tracks with roots and rocks in filigree under the canopy of branch and leaf. Look out over the city and see the variegated roofs, hear the low murmuring thrum of traffic from the safety of the bush, the delicious cool of the path up the hill and the fresh, clean smell of air. Somewhere up there, at the end of the track, is a set of gum trees with the heat releasing their astringent smell, somewhere up there a field of dandelions and weeds, and a path for joggers.
Somewhere someone has done something bad. Somewhere someone is caring for the sick. Everything is always happening everywhere. On the path there might, because it is spring, be the tiny, reddish, veined corpse of a baby bird fallen from a nest. And across the shadow filled blue sky at dusk there will be birds hanging on the warm up drafts effortlessly. It is neither fair nor unfair – the corpse and the flight – but it pulls at the human heart. The human heart that cannot help but compare. Judge.
It’s dark now. There is a song to listen to about not being happy but not without a sense of humour. The stars which I do not understand but accept are strengthening their light. The kids are in bed. Nothing about my life prepared me for 10.08pm on Tuesday, 14 November 2017, but it feels unsurprising. Of course I would be here, sitting on this couch, listening to this song, typing in this computer at this time. Was that always the plan of fate, or have I forged a special path to this unspecial but not unhappy place?