Watching for Dust

sunset

These are the hours of expectancy. This is when the day begins to scurry. Until now the minutes have dragged their feet but, come early evening, soles are lifted a little and Time begins to trot.

This is the kind end of the day. (My mornings frequently overwhelm me: what will I do all day?)

The sun tips and shadows lean long and low and the tea is gilded a quite different green, limebright; this morning in the mist it was sullenbottle.

And this is when I can anticipate Ant’s homecoming. I see his dust long before I hear his car. Some evenings, if the light catches it right, if his timing is bang on, the cloud of dust his wheels kick up looks like a pall of pink smoke in the setting sun. I watch him then, making his way down a road that threads its way through tea bushes.

We sit on the verandah, briefly, with a cold beer. Just until the sun slips behind the forested hills on the opposite side of the valley. As it tips from sight, the last vestiges of the afternoon’s warmth are snatched away. In an instant. We don’t linger; the temperature plummets.

I draw curtains and light a fire in the sitting room. I have learned to light one well and quickly. In minutes long tongued orange flames lick the logs I’ve piled upon my kindling. It crackles and spits and I must roll the hearth rug right away lest we’re all set ablaze. As it settles so the dogs settle before it and the cat too. I stand with my back to it as I finish my beer, until I’m warmed.

But many evenings I don’t see that rising telltale plume of dust. Many evenings Ant works late and then the verandah vigil is abandoned. I write until the light goes and I suddenly realize I am cold. I light a fire but don’t’ draw the curtains. Every few minutes I move towards the French doors and peer into the dark.

Scanning the gloom for the heartening pinprick of his headlights.

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3 Responses to “Watching for Dust”

  1. Was Living Down Under Says:

    I know that feeling well. Except I don’t wait in the quiet and lonely of a farm. I wait in a dark house with children asleep. Having been alone with them for days (rarely weeks), I look forward to the headlights coming into the drive, the key in the door. Especially if he’s late.

    You paint such beautiful pictures with your words. We may not be in your shoes but I think in some way or another, we can relate.

  2. iotamanhattan Says:

    Yes, you do write beautifully – as Was Living Down Under says.

  3. Kit Says:

    You’re painting beautiful word pictures here. I can feel that sudden transition from evening warm to night chill as you write.

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