Tuesday, September 14, 2010

autumn nights

I saw stars for the first time in weeks last night.
I was frustrated because I'd just missed the bus, and the next one wouldn't be for half an hour... And as I put down my bag to sit and pout, I looked up. There they were. The moon, stars - caught in the sky which was black and slick as oil - still wet from the past days of rain.
And breathing - I heard the waves taking the shore, footsteps of children running on the sand, and the sounds of silverware and diners from the restaurant balcony - and above it, peaceful again those stars waiting to be noticed.

On these types of summer autumn nights, I think of days from elementary school

We'd just seen the disney Pocohantas - and so for weeks my brother and I would play Indians in the backyard. We were the Indian tribe - and the sun was the settler. Our land was the shade, and wherever the sun hit belonged to 'them'. As the day passed, the sun rose further and further, and pushed out, we were stuck playing in the tree branches, shaking our fists at the sun until eventually it crept away to nighttime. Victorious, we would light a bonfire and chase fireflies with glowing ember sticks. We'd smoke makeshift "pipes" that were stuffed with old herbs, and hollered disney rhymes of what we thought was an indian song.

(which actually thinking now was a really inappropriate song from peter pan - 'what makes the red man red? what makes the red man redddd. you squaw! go fetch firewood!")

I remember mostly the moments before the sun would set and we could claim 'our land' - lying under the oak tree, where there was a slight mossy bank scattered with dark violets. And we would lie there breathing in violets, waiting for the shadows to come back, while the sunlight filtered down in streams through the oak leaves lighting up the helicopter seeds which floated and clung to the branches around us.

i confess i do not believe in time.