This morning

Just after eight, when it was still night but almost night no longer, a thin, frail ribbon of mist hung over the houses on the other side of the river. I had never seen one so fine, just lying there. By half past eight it had dissolved, and the air was growing ever lighter, though the sun had not yet risen. The yellow eyes of the houses blinked at me. The clouds were pink in scalloped layers stacked above the hillside, and the sky emerged from dark slowly, now grey, now violet, now blue.

The river is flanked by snow, so that the sky’s pale colours are all that lives. Every time I look at the clouds they’ve changed – bleaching to a pearly cream, then deepening almost to terracotta. It is quarter past nine now, and the sun is still not up, but the edges of the sky glow like peaches. At nine-nineteen precisely, the first light touches the highest building, and it will be day again, it will.

I watch the slither of light creep down the hillside ever so slowly. And next time I spot a ribbon of mist so fine I could thread it in my hair, I will not stay inside my house. I will go after it, I will catch it, I will run.

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6 thoughts on “This morning

  1. I think I must have – that picture looks very familiar and beautiful, but I can’t remember details… Do you know who wrote it? All I get when I google it is some mass-market paperback.

  2. Ron Brooks. He’s well known as an illustrator, though this is the only thing I know of that he’s written. He illustrated John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat and The Bunyip at Berkely Creek both by Jenny Wagner I think and more recently the amazing Fox by Margaret Wild. Annie’s Rainbow sometimes pops up in 2nd hand shops, I’ll keep an eye out for a copy for you.

  3. More books I love! Haven’t come across Fox though.

    I wonder if my Mum has a copy of Annie’s Rainbow (though I have a blurry memory of reading it at my grandparent’s house). Mum has a big box of books she’s saved from my childhood, that have done the rounds of younger cousins and the children she works with, but she always keeps an eagle eye on them and gets them back. I love picture books.

  4. Pingback: The ribbon of mist « northern lights

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