Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My own Dawn Service

I had my own private dawn service in the back garden; the night (the morning?) was too beautiful to leave on her own; the stars needed my company.

The leaves whispered hello in surprise, with the odd possum bidding me a good night.

I stood stock-still, hands behind me, neck stretched as I gazed and watched Mars above me, and tried to recall whether that was Venus or Jupiter behind her, rousing on myself and mentally noting to search the paper for rising star times, so that I know.

My cheeks felt the cool pre-dawn air, a soft wind blowing over me, we shared a special moment as the world slept and snored and hugged pillows and old dreams.

I tried to think of the men, the beautiful young Aussies, 18 years old, 19 years old, only 20 years old, imagined what they must have thought, tried to imagine what they must have felt, the scariness, the excitement, the sheer thrill of facing death in a strange land.

The Jimmies, the Johnnies, the Jacks and Alfreds, Arthurs and the Cedrics, the Georges and the Herberts, the old names unfamiliar on my tongue, the young mens faces as I watched them in my minds eye, holding their guns, looking at each other, looking after each other, the nods, the cheeky wink, the complete silence that would have roared over them as they prepared to land at Gallipoli.

Mars stares back at me.

The stars seem so crisp tonight, such a magical moment in my life. And then my mind drifts. Such a strange word - magical. It used to mean something wonderfully gorgeous and special, but became so overused in the Seventies, that it has lost all meaning now.

Looking at my gardenia bush I note that it is taking a long time to die, the yellowing leaves much more than simple autumnal dieback, it’s time for the chop, but what would I replace it with?


I shake myself and remind myself in my stern mothers voice, that this is my ANZAC Day Dawn Service, and I really should not be thinking of gardening.

Focus. Concentrate.

But it’s cold, the possum has returned to growl at me, and my work must continue at the computer if I am to present a DVD to the teenagers returning from the School Formal.

Blowing a kiss to the young ANZACS, I walk inside, leaving the dawn for others to memorize.….and I really should not be thinking of gardening.

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