Thursday, 27 August 2015
Is it really darkest just before the dawn?
When I was young there was a time when somebody very important could no longer be there for me and so other friends stepped up to fill their shoes. Last evening one of the most cherished of these friends who would become closer than family finally won their battle with life and passed from this world.
With a lifetime of memories flashing through my head all at once one instance in particular comes to mind. I'm not even sure how old I was 7, 8 maybe 9 - one of those times when my dad must have just needed a break from handling me full time and so my friend took me on an overnight adventure to the West End.
Our excursion started with a short boat ride, made more fun by skipping over waves at high speed and trolling past long-forgotten shipwrecks as we eventually landed on a secluded sandy beach. After pitching our tent, starting a small campfire and eating k-rations we ended up staying up all night listening to the gentle waves, gazing at stars brighter than you can imagine, lighting reeds on fire and pretending they were cigars, finding one of those massive toads the size of a soccer ball that don't really seem to exist anymore and having million other overnight discoveries.
Sometime around 4:30, maybe 5 in the morning the horizon started to take on a pale glow and I asked if that was the sun coming up. "No, that's the false dawn," my friend explained. "The sky will get brighter for a while and then just before the actual sunrise it will get darker again." Apparently this was something to do with clouds and the curvature of the Earth - I was simply enraptured - I'd never seen the dawn before, false or otherwise.
And so we sat together on the beach and just like he said I watched wide-eyed as my first sunrise emerge out of the darkness.
I wish I could say this was a the beginning of a lifelong obsession with doing awesome things at the crack of day or that I remembered anything we talked about that night - but I don't.
All I have is the memory of a good friend who has now passed into history - There is no need not wish this soul peace or godspeed as I know for a fact that they were and will always be an angel of the highest capacity - after all - they put up with me.
Goodbye Uncle Don - you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.