“Did you see the pink
Dawn this morning? Ominous
Though, but lovely, yes.”
The sunrise is full of light. It’s a gradient of dusty pinks and powder blues that form a wall through the fog and creep between twisting trees.
I walk outside. The beautiful smell of backburning. The fog is a sweet mix of water droplets and the smoke from bushfires. Old Man’s Valley puffs a pipe again.
Three year old Louise sits on the verandah. She should be wearing slippers because the smooth varnish of the wood has flaked away, exposing aggravated splinters. Nevertheless, she pretends she’s a faerie and tip-toes, ever so lightly, to the chalky deck chair.
Sunrise. Her Mummy hasn’t yet emerged from her duck-down cave. Neither has her Daddy. But Granma has. Granma’s fixing warm nutella toast. The sticky gloop is a special treat for little Louise, who isn’t allowed it at home… too many trans-fats. Louise, cheeks smeared with nutella, sits smug, like a temple cat.
She swings her legs to the rhythm of the classical piano playing. After a while the crackling stops, the tape has to be turned over. But Granma leaves the silence.
Leaves the last of the night to slowly ebb away.
With sunrise come warm rays of rose and saffron, but Louise still thinks it’s a little chilly and pulls Grandpa’s overcoat tighter, so it just covers her knees.
Pahh. Another piece of toast for Louise’s little tummy. Granma hands it to the little one and walks past the painting of Van Gogh, the one where he painted her name as a flower- the one where the Irises are so delicate and soft. They almost dangle out of the painting, inviting you to carefully cut their stalks and place them in a vase for all your guests to admire. But cutting them out of the painting would be silly, because cutting off the flower from its roots will kill it. Leaving the Irises in the painting means it lasts forever.
The view from the verandah is spectacular. If Louise leans down over the balcony, she can see snow drops and flaming flowers that brightly blaze. If she looks further, the colours change hues through the swirling clouds of violet haze of the fog that drifts through the Blue Mountains.
Grandpa Jack did well to build the house here. He’s still playing around with renovations out the back, but the house is almost nearly ready.
For now, Louise decides that watching the sunrise is no fun when you’re by yourself.
She retreats inside, to sink into the worn cream sofa, where Grandpa Jack pretends to snore.
Hmm. He pretends to sleep, but peeks out from under his thick-rimmed glasses. The corner of his mouth may have twitched, slightly. But Louise wouldn’t have noticed. She was busy curling up under his coat, to share the warmth of his arm.