I woke up too early, after little sleep, to the smell of sea salt coming through my open window. I stirred, felt my skin against the sheet and a small stab of wonder in my belly. It surprised me to find some joy on this too early a morning, when life hasn’t been too kind and I really should still be fast asleep.
Maybe it was something to do with the weather, or feeling the sea so close at hand. This relentless shitty weather doesn’t bother me much. In fact, it is a relief to see summer slip away without any final words to say to light up these September days.
Summer is so obvious. It wears its plumes like a peacock. It is without subtlety, without irony. I end up feeling so much pressure to live in summer – to squeeze its juice out to the last drop, to run in its sunshine, to muck about under its blue skies. These last months have largely been such a washout, that’s rarely been possible. It’s been cloud and relentless wind, with the odd peep of sunshine in between. So I’ve been let off the hook, and I felt this morning, as I have on many mornings these last few months, happy that I no longer have to try and be happy.
I’ve always loved the rain. I don’t like grey skies, or damp cold, or that wind off the sea that bites into my neck and makes my face scrunch up. But I often welcome the streaks of wet coming down the windows of my flat, the sound of car wheels rolling through puddles, and the calm dripping from the gutters after the rain has died down.
One thing I do feel a little cheated of, however, is autumn. Summer being a washout is one thing, but autumn? Autumn is for shifting colour, for the last flood of warmth on skin, for picking berries and getting muddy trainers before curling up to watch the sky turn first amber, then red, then pink from my living-room window. It’s not meant to be just a continuation of drizzle - non-descript and apathetic, each day the same as the last, uniformly wading into winter. That’s simply underhand.
I'm not looking forward to this winter. I really don't know how it'll be. Although there is at least one major new beginning for me, I feel people I love dissolving around me like water into mud. Consequently, I feel very alone, only myself to rely on. Someone told me recently that life is giving me a chance to dig out the weeds, the old dead stuff, so that new plants and flowers can bloom in the spring. To let go in order to bring in the new.
But if I look out at my garden, it seems pretty empty and forlorn, and spring feels a long way away. Maybe that’s what all this rain is good for. To make it all grow again. I hope so. Bring it on. I don't want to make anymore mistakes.