Monday, 2 November 2009


I look forward to the evenings. I always have. Maybe it has something to do with the fact of my age. Or maybe it is because my mother told me that I was born “all grown up”. Some people enjoy the awakening of morning, the anticipation and mystery of an unfolding day. Others like the afternoon, the warmth, the vigour, the possibility of a new venture, a siesta or a rendezvous. Not me.

Now, it is not that I am a “night person”. It isn’t that I come alive at night, or that I haunted bars or nightclubs as a young woman. I don’t find darkness a stimulus for creativity or reproductive activities. I actually prefer all such activities in daylight. It has an obverse illicit feel somehow.

Night time is sunsets and bonfires and still water reflecting a full moon at midnight. It is also the portion of day when I would hold each of my children individually, just long enough to read them their bedtime story. They were a vigourous, busy bunch, my three. But by eight o’clock they were ready to cozy down, and if a story meant prolonging bedtime, that was just fine with them. I wonder who enjoyed it more. Grandchildren allow a déjà vu, however fleeting, of those precious moments, when little hands slip into mine, soft cheeks brush against my neck, and tender voices whisper, “read it again”.

And then and now my own bedtime. The ritual of fluffing pillows; laying them just so, to support a reading head; deciding which of the several books on the bedside table to enjoy on this particular night. In summer, lying scantily clad with the breezes blowing in the window; in winter with the heating pad to warm the quadrants of the body, inching the pad downward on ten minute intervals. And when it reaches the ankles and feet, it is time to turn out the lights. He comes to bed, finally, and I role over to hold him and sleep.