Friday, 27 May 2011
Beware! On windblown nights we haunt the park.
Last night, just a little after midnight we went out to spy aurora borealis, without much hope. Earlier, on the way home from the store, to buy some things for dinner around ten pm, the sky had been full of the strangest light. If the sky were a dome, dark clouds sat at the very top, and around the bottom edges, closest to the ground, a clear turquoise light filtered in. On our midnight stroll in the park, the clouds were still in their places, but since night had fallen they were making an almost white dome now, with edges that scowled darkness.
The trees were swaying and singing 'ssssssshhhhhhhhelter, sssssshhhhhhhhells, sssshhhhoal, ssssssshhhhhhapelessssssss, ssssssshhhhhhhhiver' in the park, the closest darkest place we could think of. There were so many clouds that we knew our aurora hunt would be in vain, but geomagnetic forces were high, pulling us from the house nonetheless.
Even in the park it was not really dark. We could easily see more than if there had been a very bright full moon, though there was no moon to be seen. In a circle of enormous rhododendrons we walked from pink to red to white flowers, pressing our faces into them, feeling like shades of ourselves that had somehow slipped into a wonderland, where daytime was just a little darker than we were used to, where the flowers almost glowed. I think some of the clouds fell a little at the end, riding on the waves of leaves that churned and tossed wildly in the treetops.
Finally we were brought homewards, hauled in gracelessly by a net of morning commitments. Away from the strange luminosity in the park, through the rows of little houses where gardens of flowers hummed in their sleep. Across the empty road, to look into the framing gallery's window, seeing landscape photography in the orange street light. Pulling misty air into our lungs, because inside the rickety old door voices must turn to whispers as we climb up up up the staircase.