New Day By Ted Witham

The dawn light crept over the far bank of the Swan River like the terminus – black in front, grey behind, barely changing the quality of the light. Dominique, my girlfriend for that term at Uni, and I were still dressed in our formals. Dominique was fetching in a lime ball gown, and I was well, formal, in a dinner suit with black tie. The grassy slope we sat on was dewy.

The grey light rolled down like a curtain in reverse and hit the bank - a memory bank for me. Over there, I had ridden my cycle to my Uncle and Aunt's. As a young teenager, Graeme Ovens and I explored the underground pipes under the causeway and discovered a little secluded beach where we could see the city and smoke: we thrilled in our bravery. Our climbing and our Craven A were both illegal and dangerous.

The light suddenly hit the water of the Swan, and it glowed silver seeming to light the whole city. Colour started to creep into the houses, the roads, the trees. What was grey now turned to the red clay of tiles and to the green of eucalypts: the hum of dawn traffic seemed to become louder. The city was being born again to a new day of life; and we were happy. We had been awake for 24 hours, and we had watched in the dawn.

Life complete, in the warmth of the sun, we began to relax and start the day.


in Perth, Western Australia, Australia

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