It rains so you’d notice only once in a while, really. But when it rains, especially in this long slow autumn, the world bursts out into being: woods and walls are suddenly intensely and three-dimensionally painted in strong pigments, smells of pine and autumn leaves bring a nostalgic wish to simply lie down and inhale, and everything glimmers and shimmers and reflects the light of the sky. Even all the drips and drops and plinks of water on wood and on stone and on water tap insistently on the window of my consciousness: “I am here, pay attention to me, listen, this is real, you need to pay attention.”
And then in the morning I read the last tenth of an inch on the rain gauge, clouds start to race, the air clears, and our morning walk is filled with the whooshing of wind high in the trees. Air so crisp you can smell it as clearly as the earthy scents that just took wing.
At which point I am encountering, in the words from the last paragraph of The Great Gatsby, the “fresh green breast of the new world” and it is the start of a new adventure.
I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.
And I marvel at my own ability to take on the outlook of the Dutch sailors rather than the image of the “Valley of the Ashes” Fitzgerald describes so eloquently in his novel, the world of “careless people, [like]Tom and Daisy-[who] smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” I guess, like Nick and like Gatsby, I keep my eyes on the lights at the ends of the docks across the bay.
The season of the water is here: water in all its guises that sticks and clings and drops and freezes into crystals and stalks. Have a look at the album.