Saturday, 18 July 2015
Crabapple Jelly & An Aversion to Dawn
'In the morning I consider the tenacity of light,
its bitter taste of sun.'
Kay McKenzie Cooke
crabapples - how I love that word! It appears to me that it is wasted as a description of a grumpy person. It'd be far more suitable as a description for a happy happenstance, or a cheerful deed. As in, "That was such a lovely, crabapple thing to do". Maybe it could replace the word 'gold' in the saying, 'Good as gold'? 'Good as crabapple jelly' has a certain ring to it. No?
I am not a morning person. I can perhaps pinpoint the exact time when this aversion started. When I was 16 years old, a trip over to Stewart Island meant a 5.00 a.m. start to the day in order to catch the bus. I'd set the alarm, but it was my friend's urgent knocking on my bedroom window that actually woke me, filling me with something akin to raw terror. I'd slept through the alarm! A frantic scramble to get dressed and out the door ensued.
It was still dark as my friend Barbara and I trudged to the bus-stop through empty and unfriendly streets, our echoing footsteps mocking our haste and panic at the thought that we may have missed the bus.
My rude awakening seemed to set up some craziness in my brain so that as the sky began to break into light, it was as if the world was in the grip of something cruel. In the pit of my empty gut, lay a sick feeling of cold grey.
Most likely my sense of dawning horror (or horror of dawn) was simply due to the fact that I hadn't eaten breakfast. Maybe it's more primal than that, dating back to my ancestors' terror of Viking dawn raids. Whatever the reason, since that time I have not not found any dawn I've experienced to be a particularly friendly occurrence.
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