The weather in Ireland has been more capricious of late. An unpredictable climate is the heritage of our island country; the first chunk of rock to welcome the roaring waves of the Atlantic, which are driven crazy by thousands of miles of solitary travel from Newfoundland.
Today, the wind–fresh from its travel across the ocean–shakes the trees in my back garden like a madman throttling his victim, and rips the last of the blossoms off the branches. It’s a perpetual twilight due to the endless muffling clouds. The rain drums against my house, dewing the windows, and rattling out memories of angry white-capped waves that drove towards my homeland with relentless fury.
Earlier today I lay on a bed beside a window and read short stories: perfectly-formed gems by Maureen McHugh, an image of a near-future High School by Vernor Vinge which adds anticipation to the delivery of his new novel, Rainbow’s End, a fantasy of mirrors and fate by Ian McLeod, and speculative tales penned by various authors, influenced by postcolonialism, and edited by Nalo Hopkinson.
The experience reminded me of my childhood: propped up by pillows on my bed–listening to the rain hammer on my window–as I explored the worlds of the authors whose novels stuffed the shelves of my bedroom.
Today is a day to stay inside and read. It is Sunday weather.
Yesterday evening I walked through recently cropped wet grass, and threw ball for my dog. She bounded through the field, the sunlight gleamed on her dark hair, and her tongue dangled from the side of her muzzle in delight. I had to shade my eyes against the descending sun, as the ball soared towards the sky, and she pelted towards its destination, her ears back in determination.
When we turned for the car we noticed the dark clouds gathering.
It would have been perspicacious of me to murmur:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.
But I didn’t. Yesterday was a warm evening of promise, with only a dark smudge to indicate the coming stormy weather.
Yet, I am warm, and dry, and the books beckon. I will return to the shared pleasure of reading: girl and woman lying on a bed, engrossed in tiny universes.