...the treasure I seek lies not beyond the horizon but tantalizing within
vapour trails stretch across the sky above, remembrances of planes on
their way who knows where, days drift pass by in much the same way.
Its been a while since I first stood here, atop the hedgerow that
marks the boundary between the garden of my childhood home and the fields
that gently climb up the hill. The hedgerow from which I would dream
what life could be. Looking south out to sea I would cast off my land
locked life and dream of great ocean adventures. Turn west and gaze
over the valley to the downs beyond and the mind would race with what
treasures lie beyond the horizon.
It seems longer since I first stood here and watched as she rode down
the lane. She should have kept on riding, instead she stopped, just
to say hello, an innocent gesture of an innocent girl, yet the words
that passed those sweet lips were as corrupting as the apple passed
to Adam. A simple hello stripped my teenage emotions bare and revealed
lust to my life. Yet, as I stand here now, staring across the West Penwith
Downs that populate the horizon it seems as if the years have slipped
past as if days and the memory of her lingers with me as if it were
Watching as the last moments of daylight makes its inevitable surrender
to the dark of night. The dusk sky ablaze with colour as if heaven itself
was on fire, stunning even the birds into silence. It is a scene of
utter tranquility and quite devastating beauty, punctuated only by distant
toll of church bells calling the faithful to evensong.
Watching a sunset is to watch two restless souls briefly entwine, like
lovers who have found a place in time to co-exist. So wrapped in the
moment, they are oblivious to their own inhibitions, their brief moment
of rapture bare for all to see, before darkness draws its veil and modesty
is regained. I observe this ritual because it is in the brief space
between the days and nights beginning that I find myself closer to her.
My unrequited heart drawing comfort that even the day can momentarily
allow itself to be caught and seduced by its eternal pursuer the night.
A moment of melancholy descends with the growing darkness that has enveloped
the valley that linked me to the horizon. Stars begin to slowly appear
above me, like popcorn in the pan, one by one then with increased rapidity
as the darkness intensifies. Perhaps the Verve were right, a bittersweet
symphony this life, for somewhere down in the valley lies loves
lost dream, I am the night, she is my day, but we co-exist in a world
devoid of sunset. My hedgerow has grown corrupt, my dreams of great
ocean adventures and what treasures lie beyond the horizon, redundant.
All the mountains have been climbed, all the seas crossed, leaving only
pointless adventure. For the treasure I seek lies not beyond the horizon
but tantalizing within sight and all I want is the day when her shadow
walks within mine; touched by the chill breath of night, with only my
moon shadow for company.
I lower my head to the horizon. Below me now the shimmering lights emanating
from the houses that randomly litter the downs,as if an earthly firmament
had appeared to rival the heavens above and mouth three times, as if
renewing a vow, let it be.
© David Rutherford
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