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Come December 25th, I’ll glut my appetite with crispy potatoes and crumbly turkey stuffing and creamy chocolate truffles, and walk off the humongous meal in the park with my younger cousins, whose eyes will gleam with innocence and amazement at the day’s magic.
“The sky is a pale grey,” I write, “and water reluctantly falls from it.” This is a November in Dublin. Still five days left until we cross the threshold of the 21st, and thank God that’s all there is left.
Out of the corner of my eye little jagged tree trunk shadow-ghosts flash threateningly in and out of my field of vision, disappearing when I turn to meet their faces.
The wavering uncertainty of the ever-changing weather will unsettle me, as it always does, and as I take a yearly scissors to my chestnut locks, rusty leaves will whoosh off the arching branches over my head and gather in piles under my feet, crunching beneath my navy school shoes as I tread home.(I’ll grasp at summer’s heels by jabbing Airpods into my ears and blasting July’s hits, but the lyrics will feel out of place under the streetlights, fuzzy from fine rain, miles away from the familiar music festivals at which they were born.
I’ll settle instead for mellow blues and seasoned jazz, the melodies more melancholic and my heart more wearisome with each day’s darkening of the silver sky above me.
I understand it as I sit my final set of practice exams before the real thing, understand it as I commit myself entirely to my goals, understand it in every conversation I have with my peers. It will be, I am certain, a summer that is so much more and so much less than it promises to be. Slight reservation in relation as to what is driving the piece. More of a smooth transition between sections.smell of sea salt tickles the back of my throat, though no heat radiates from the bounding waves.
Nature agrees with me, as the year melts into March and I see how all of winter’s hard and thus far thankless work begins to show flower buds, which eventually bloom. April and May pass by in a blur that surely can’t have been more than a week in length, and before I know it it (L)is June. The kind of summer that washes the sand and dirt from beneath your fingernails, soaks your clothes and leaves your hair matted with salt and silt. No towels nor parasols line the shore, and children’s voices can no longer be heard outside my front gate past 8pm, for a school night forbids it.The cracks in the footpath are amplified by the small orangish light emanating at intervals from lampposts that really should have been replaced years ago.It’s something about the unnerving blackness of the bin’s shadow, a darkness that crawls up your chest and lets you know that, if you let it in, could spread and spread and spread and consume. The moon is following me, constant if ever changing, a contradiction like me and the month of my birth, the watchful guardian who is my bone-white foil to the depth of the darkness. The increasingly ever-evident trickle of the sand timer announces January.Someday soon after that the stars will come out as the sun goes down. I always wonder if the sun’s rays purposely beam brighter during back-to-school season, desperately gleaming through windows, illuminating classrooms and libraries to cling to summer for as long as they can. ) sweetness on my lips too, but eventually accept that the transition of the seasons is inescapable, no different than any other year.The world will go from the colour of spilled water (used to clean a cobalt blue watercolour paintbrush seconds earlier) to the blue glow of a shadow on a sunny day. Slowly, and then all at once, my carefree energies fizzle into humdrum routine just like a sunset sinks into a faraway horizon, and the ripe autumn days arrive.Soon afterwards, the trees will be completely bare, the shelter of their leaves cruelly abandoning me for months.I’ll feel the heaviness of humid air on my eyelids, shoulders and chest, and the burden will spread to my limbs once the seasonal flu claims its yearly consumption of my body.Crashes of thunder and strikes of lightning will follow me as I trudge through the thickness, slowly but surely, towards the hustling and bustling of winter.The hibernal daytimes will be smoky and grey as ever.Life ends in October, a seemingly strange and somewhat wonderful contradiction to the beginning of my own.Part autumn and part winter, in October I am strong.