Creative Writing, Venue

By the water

The fingers of the trees splay out to scatter the early evening light and paint the sky green with half grown leaves, while the branches sway and nod in appreciation of their work. The sky is blue, and the sea is blue, and the eyes of the girl opposite me are blue. But they are all different, and it is wonderful. This is what it looks like here.

The girl asks me what the time is, but there isn’t a harshness to the ‘t’, and I smile because the sweetness of it lingering in the air has a happy sound. I wonder how things can sound happy, as I look in her eyes which are blue, and reply as softly as I can because I don’t want to break the silence.

It is not silent. The sea is loud, and the wind is loud, and the children screeching as they run away from the waves are loud, and later the seagulls will fly down through the valley to huddle in the cracks and crevices of the cliff and they will be loud also. But this is what silence sounds like here.

The light changes as the setting sun turns the sky a burnt orange, as though it were blushing, embarrassed at all the complimenting expressions of ‘oooh’; from the mothers of the children collecting endless interesting shells to bring back and present to freckle-faced classmates, and from fatigued surfers pausing as they catch their breath between waves, and from the couple paddling in the foamy shallows, and from the water that hugs and releases the shore with every ebb and flow of the tide.

They sigh. The sigh gets caught in the wind and carried up to me, and the girl sighs too. I hear the whole world sigh.


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January 2022
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