In the air tonight

Go outside in to the night. Relax, sit back and focus on it, focus on the whole night. Breathe slowly, deeply and just focus on the dark around you, immerse yourself in it.


Feel the mid-summer night air around you, still warm yet fresh and cool. Still warm enough to sit in your shirt sleeves. As your dial tunes in, your breathing stabilises and adjusts to its surroundings feeling everything around you.

This is what I did last week. I had just come back from a great night out back in my home town and to finish the night off I sauntered out in to my brother’s back garden and sat back on the lounger with the last beer. It was so nice to be back in England in a real summer, where it was hot and the sun beamed in the sky, I appreciate it so much and reminds me of a few summers gone by with my best friends before I moved away.

We would talk through the night, sitting outside on nights like this, we would wander the streets back home because we belonged to it. We belonged to the night. I was there again, I felt that sense of belonging to the night again, it was all over me again. I would have even called my friends to share with them once again had it not been so late. So many times we have held on to the nights, easily finding stuff to remain in the dusk, only our chat disturbing the stillness.

When I had drained the beer I closed the night behind me and made my way up the stairs to bed, happy. Yet I wanted to hang on to the night I had just left behind. Being so warm I could leave the bedroom window open to sleep. So before closing the curtains I opened the slightly-open bedroom window wider and propped myself on my elbows and hung my head out. And I focused on it again.

I wanted to listen to it, I didn’t want to miss out on anything it had to say. And to me it has always had a lot to say.

Before I got in to bed I got the urge to write. I just had to write all this down in my notebook, I didn’t want to risk losing that moment and forgetting any last little thing through sleep, it was too precious not to. After all, English summers aren’t always like this and I am not often back there at this time of year.

Once I had turned the light off I lay there still breathing slowly and listening in to what was behind the curtains outside. It brought sleep to me, like my own private and silent lullabye. Waking in the morning and sliding back the patio doors, I eased myself outside in to the morning sun with my coffee. The same air. I tuned back in to where I had left off.

As children we are bestowed upon us protection in all forms; parents, homes, places, people, in summary - in the form of familiarity. Even though I know I will never return to live in my home town because of the person I am and that there is so much to see and do in the rest of the world, I still like to feel that familiarity every now and again. I love the memory, I will hang on to it forever but I know myself well and I have to go forth and step out of the comfort zone if I am to be happy. The past is the past, but hang on dearly to the good things. Throw away bank statements, hang on to love letters Mary Schmich once said.

There was something in the air on this night, like the air had pulled on my face and one of my rubber cheeks, and the company I was in pulled on the other to form a smile, my memories were the judge and jury. It was a sublime end to the night and a great start to the day. This is what I come back for.


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