17 July 2010

Summer evenings in the valley

Summer evenings in the valley are simply exquisite. They bring welcome respite from the heat and silent salvation to the soul.

After long uncomfortable days, we usually sit outside for a few precious minutes before we go to bed.

At first the stillness makes us wonder where the air has gone. Then a gentle breeze meanders down the valley. It makes a fluttering sound which changes volume as it works its way through the leaves towards us; if the leaves were metal they would sound like chimes. Then the breeze moves around our pergola like a ghost as it chases the heat of the day away.

My pride and joy, a beautiful climbing rose, seems to stretch wider and higher in the cool night air after it's long drink of blood and bone that I annointed it with at dusk.

There is an occasional distant bark from dogs on the surrounding farms.

The sky is a dark midnight blue and there is a line where the tops of the even darker blue hills meet it. The stars are strong and scattered, their distance from one another making them shine even brighter.

At 10pm, I can hear a farmer still working on a tractor in his paddock at the top of one of the hills. I imagine the dust gently rolling behind his tractor wheels. I imagine the peace that working amidst the grapevines at night might bring him, rows of healthy vines promising fruit his only company.

The birds are silent. They've been replaced by the squirrels, tapping and scratching on the roof. Occasionally one of their stolen nocciole is dropped and it rolls and bounces down the terracotta tiles of the roof into the copper gutter.

Then there is silence. Songs of silence sing. There is also peace. Perfect peace.

The unknown creatures of the creek are squeaking and croaking but when the beetles start their whistling, we realise that they give us the single strongest sound of summer.

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