What I’ll Miss When I’m Gone

By | 1 November 2012

I will miss the light. The south windows allow the sun to fill the rooms
from morning to dusk. After all, without light, there is little to see, wall
to wall, window to door, ceiling to floor, nothing but nothing but darkness.

And I will miss the way the light stands on the neat boards of the floor
and looks around, a gaze bounding round the room, reflecting only
on every surface and revealing all the corners and angles that the sun will.

I’ll miss the height of the house. Not that I like to look down on people,
but my walls and windows are high on the ridge, raised on wooden beams
and crossbeams so that the roofs of other houses are far below where I sit

gazing at the sea. And I will miss the freighters anchored off the coast,
especially at night when they light themselves like small islands on a grand,
barren, black plain, golden orbs gleaming between me and the horizon,

drawing my attention to where the world happens. The ridge across the valley
that rises like the great, green face of a wave, I will miss. A soaring surge
of earth, still moving but fixed before my eye, that ridge reminds me always

that nothing in this valley will long remain. I will miss the coconut tree
poised before the largest window, blocking the view of the streets below
with little scenes of sparrows, doves, and bulbuls of every song, strand,

and scrappiness. And I suppose I’ll miss the days when I’m home, and all
the noisy neighbours are at work or play somewhere far away, and that blessed,
vacant, and resonant calm steeps in the sun and shade on the tilted lane

and clustered houses. I’ll miss the flights of jets blasting from the airport,
spiking to the zenith in a dull rumble of rush and arrogance. I’ll miss the weird
pattern of roofs below, their oddly-chosen colors and the alternating shimmer

on shingles when all the angles change as the sun crosses the sky. And I will
certainly miss the nights, when I rise, barefoot, and glide to early windows
over the silent valley sprinkled with the lights of the restless and the negligent,

and above that lonely, electric pattern on the darkness of the earth are the stars,
telling the mythic stories, unread by eyes that cannot see beyond their own walls
and raised roofs, their locked doors, curtained windows, and purchased light.


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