Tuesday, September 4, 2012

In Which The Fish Regards the Sea in Spring





My first Winter here has just ended, but Spring seems not to know what is expected, and lets the cold come creeping in. 
Deep, dark, bonefreezing cold. 


You see, it isn't the rolling Southerlies from the Antarctic one has to worry about, but the irresponsible rudeness of the Nor'easter: bickering with the surface of the sea with no grace whatever. Slapping coldness, stirring up the quiet deepness, chilling me. My fingers act of their own accord and I find my hands are less like fins and more like claws: so troublesome when one needs to glide through the water.


The solitary experience of swimming in a trance is over these days. There are lots of us, to and fro across the bay. The early lap is quiet, almost soundless: the later lap a party of arms and caps and trails of kicked froth. Banter and chatter, we are a school of fish.




Each day I swim with the usual silver fish, assembled quietly on the bottom, or soaring along just beneath the surface canopy. The Luderick with their small smiles, the Whiting with their anxious eyes. 
The Morwong with its painted face, the yellowtail scad in a cloud of a thousand, all moving about, catching the light in the green water of the bay.





I count the days until the sharks return...is it seven days, or more? One day I will look down and the mothers will be there, and tiny miniature sharks will pace around just above the wrinkled sand far below. In the meantime, I take stock...




Beneath the calm surface of the icy sea today, 
I see



               Six pipefish like a pile of pencils dropped
        
Port Jacksons hiding under ledges

Still in their pyjamas.

The usual rabble 
       
of long nosed Whiting and the other silver friends,

And Big Blue, poking at the urchins with his bony blue lips. 

I wish one time

Big Blue might come and bite me

with his little peg teeth

just so I can look into the impossible meniscus
of his 
big blue eye.

5 comments:

old_black said...

We both live in the same city but you and I will have a completely different perspective of the seasons. I cut myself off from winter, you immerse yourself in it. I notice spring because the lawn needs cutting again, but your observations are somewhat more in harmony with the world.

Red Hen (dette) said...

I wish we had winter!
Beautiful writing as usual.
PS. I must be a robot because I am having trouble deciphering these jolly 'captcha' thingos

Isabelle said...

Hello!

Just noticed that you reappeared! Hope things are ok with you.

Christine McCombe said...

Hi Fifi,
Wondered if you could email me - cmccombe@iprimus.com.au - about your beautiful photos...
Thanks, Christine

Duyvken said...

I miss these posts!