MaximusMarch 1, 2013
An ode to a summer’s day…
As the sun sets on February, and March begins, we look back in wonder at e month of perfect weather. Of nights so warm and still, that we wonder what has struck us. Our weather, sometimes harsh, and often windy, has for the last few weeks caressed our bodies with warm breath and we have basked in its embrace. By day, a strong, warm sun heats our skin, no wind to sooth the fevered brow. By night, the moon shines through my bedroom window, patterning the pillows on my bed, The moon fuller, more perfect than ever before, no clouds from which to spring behind. Nights that are so warm and so still that tonight I heard someone clank dinner plates onto tabletop, the sound bouncing off the still flat water. The noise of a dropped cutlery was deafening.
Wellington has been the perfect host for me this month. Like an old lover with a well worn embrace, she knows my foibles, knows how to woo me with her whiles. I would forgive her anything tonight. A month of endless wind I will happily survive for the joy of another week of this. Today, this evening, the water was like gold, flecked with blue. But mostly gold. Flat, glossy, pure liquid gold. The colour of sunset but the texture of honey. The water was cool, but perfect, and perfectly nice.
A man was swimming with his teenage daughter. At least I think she was his daughter. They dived into the water together, raced along the foreshore, and then floated, face up to the sky. His belly stood proud, a perfect island of tanned brown fat, the sun’s rays making even rotundness look healthy. His face floated separately from his belly, just liquid gold between. Toes, too, floated out of reach, connected below the water but distinctly disconnected above the plimsol line. I wish I had my camera, to illustrate the point, but it’s not done – you can’t take pictures of people in this perfect, vulnerable state. Nor can you take pictures of teenage girls, floating face up, perfect pointed breasts cresting out of the water, her fingers breaking the blue and gold, held out at arms length. The memory is mine, and mine alone. And, probably, etched in her father’s mind as well. At least, I think she was his daughter. They seem awfully close.
The sea has been an accomplice in this summer of wonder, this weather spell that has not yet ended. A warm ocean is a happy ocean, judging by the people in it, and there is no Muriwai tragedy for us, no, not yet. Down here we have dolphins by the pod load, as they venture here like tourists on a late summer cruise. It may be global climate change, and the glaciers may be melting, but for just this month I have been happy in the water, lolling in it’s warm clutches. No waves to surf, no wind to ruffle feathers, just the slow ebb of the tide to wash away our nightly crimes of footprints on the perfect shoreline. I’ve swum these waters many times before, but never seen the sea bed before. Not just golden sand, but stones, and clumps of seaweed, glisten in the setting sun each night after work. I look down, into the depths, and I can see your buried treasure, of shells and crawling starfish. In between are a layer of jellyfish and they are not my favorites, but even in this weather they cannot help but to come out to play, to breed, to pulsate quietly in the shallows. Their four-valved purple heart beats on, pulsing their floppy skirt.
Enough now. Back to work.
Photos by Ankit Surti Thanks! Your photos really capture the moment…