Many things happened yesterday. My aunt died, my cousin’s daughter was born, and another cousin got engaged (all on my Dad’s side). I read some of this news on facebook, and some in an email. I feel a very long way away.
But also not. I feel very connected to my family, and to life and to death.
Yesterday, driving to work, I saw a row of frosted birch trees standing in an field of snow. The sun (a welcome stranger in these parts) shone fiercely, directly behind them, illuminating the layers and ribbons of mist caught in their hair.
And tonight, from my new window over the roof tops, I watched the moment evening became night. It was a long moment. The sun does not set here as it sets in Australia – blink and you’ll miss it. It lingers. But I’m not talking about sunset, I’m talking about a long time after. And also I don’t mean ‘fades’. You know, ‘day fades into night’. Because here it doesn’t, not on clear days. Slowly, slowly, long after the sun has set, the blue gets deeper and deeper, sifting its way through a thousand shades, until suddenly the whole sky is a deep iridescent purple. Glowing, I say. And in the middle of it, the first star.