The months I might have stolen

There’s a line that is currently in one of my stories which is going to be removed from that story because it doesn’t fit. But I still like the line, so I’ll put it here instead.

Gaps gilded in the magic of the hours I stole with you.

That’s how I feel today. I’m waiting for the dishwasher to finish so I can turn the water off and pull the curtains and go back to Auckland. As I’m sitting here in the cool of another sunset, watching the shadows and seeing the waxing half-moon in a sky that’s almost the same colour as the rippling water. It’s been almost three months of these sunsets – 80 of them – and they are magic.

I have tried to be conscious of the season, these past weeks. Tried to remember the leaf colour when I arrived, noticing the way they turn, the way they fall. Autumn apples and pears are now long gone. Winter berries – poison berries we called them as kids – that are bright red now. The blackberries that I couldn’t reach in March have now withered on the vine. Pine needles covered the tracks in a rust-coloured carpet, and now they’re gone.

Now I am about to leave, now that it has faded into winter, it feels like I stole this autumn. Stole the chance to be alone, to write, to not write, to run, walk, play on deserted swings, ignore the world around me unless it absolutely intruded. The image for this post is one I took today, looking up the Kuratau valley.

The truth is, of course, that I don’t want to go. I don’t want to leave and return to the world and have to file taxes and make plans and compromise and stop being self-centred again. I was worried how I would cope for months on my own, and it turns out that like so many writers, I am selfish. I am happy in my own head, watching the maunga in the distance turn pink with the setting sun.

Sorry to everyone I catch up with soon though – I’m not sure how to people anymore.

In slightly less navel-gazing news – Flash Frontier has published one of my stories in their Water Issue. You can read it here: Promise to meet me at the seventh stream where the waters run away to the sea.