Early mornings have become a thing of the past. As I make my coffee, it is bright and sunshiny outside- so bright that a young lady with an umbrella is running across the play-area to beat the heat (or is she just in danger of missing her bus?). Winter carries a subtle, almost unnoticeable hint of its presence on the warm summer-like breeze, just a reminder of its presence before it makes way for spring. Like the green waters of a pond, warmed by winter sunshine yet deliciously cold. Winters, too, are a thing of the past. At four in the morning, you can wander barefoot through the house in your ordinary clothes and not feel a thing.
However, this is a glorious morning. Too sunny maybe, if you’re out in the open, but this is the sort of morning that kindles memories hidden away somewhere, not making the present a cause for regret and longing for the days gone by, but a celebration of what has been and what is. You seek refuge under a shady tree, but you won’t mind going back into the sunshine once you’re rested enough. That is what memories are for, aren’t they? To rejuvenate and inspire, to push you forward for more to set store in that vast cavern in the depths of your mind. To draw strength from, to give you something to laugh at yourself about, an estimation of how you naivete has increased or lessened over the years.
On the tracks suspended in the air, a train makes its way through symmetrical concrete boxes. A cold capsule in which people sit huddled, wrapped up in their thoughts and their jackets, staring occasionally out the window and wondering at the contraption called the air-conditioner that we invented, only to look more longingly than ever at the gold-flecked grass in the distance and want the heat more badly than ever. Uncurtained windows are left exposed to the sight of curious eyes, as are high banks of grass and trees and vast, unspoilt stretches of land, soon to be covered over by buildings and be indistinguishable from the rest of the district.
(Digression: Through the depths of the night, the cold capsule pulls into the station, windows frosted over as if it were coming from the Arctic, and carries its passengers around the loop line. The warm pink lights glowing in one house mark it out from the others shrouded in sleepy darkness, bestowing it with a sense of mystery, rather beguiling after a long hard day at work. The land around is bleak and dark; what sort of monster can you expect from the unbounded wilderness?)
The orange-and-yellow school building across the road is quietly asleep. Oh yes, those trees bobbing in the gentle wind do remind me of my own playground days, and absurdly enough, they seem to have gone by just weeks ago, not years. Schoolgirls. Now just girls. Some women. Sleep away, School, you have only until Monday morning. Go on, Memories, for you will be pushed back where you don’t belong once the present presses with an irrepressible, exaggerated urgency.
There was a single spot of light on the ceiling. Now it’s gone. Hide-and-seek? I’m game.