Here at Sommers Bay the year is going out in style. There are no streetlights to pollute our view across the bay and the distant sound beyond. Often the water glows softly green in the moonlight but tonight is overcast so the stars and the full, blue moon are occluded. The blue moon, I learn, is when there are two full moons in a month. Iris says the blue moon is also known as the ‘goals moon’, it’s an opportunity to set out clearly what one wants for the future. I am pretty clear about my goals for this year, I’ve said it often enough in my Sankalpa: “I am healthy, I am happy, I am whole, I am sexy, I am prosperous, I am loving, I am loved, I am free”. Beyond that it all gets a bit vague.
Sommers Bay is a small settlement. The nearest shop is at Murdunna, a crossroad about six kilometres distant. It’s a general store that sells life’s staples: groceries; a few local vegetables; newspapers and petrol as well as surprising delicacies such as fresh oysters and smoked octopus. Many of the houses here are holiday homes. Since it is the holidays, most of the owners are in occupation.
As I looked out the panoramic view from Mum’s front windows today I saw maybe twenty bodies frolicking on the beach, some playing cricket, others kayaking or jumping about in the water.
Over Dinner Aunty Noni and her friend Denise tut-tut. “I’ve never seen so many people here,” they both remark. Mum cooks up a feast: roast chicken with balsamic gravy; Tasmanian pink-eye potatoes and home grown green salad.
Now, as we gather on the front verandah, the neighbours start exploding sky-rockets. “Ohh,” we all exclaim and “aaah.” I wonder if they are going to start an out of control bush fire. In my mind I plan my escape route to the beach. Whizz, wheee go the fireworks and then CRAAAKABOOOOM the sky simply explodes. Huge orange sheets shoot across the horizon. Molten white daggers strike the opposite Tasman peninsula again and again. Piercing jagged branches arc horizontally from one side of the sky to the other above our heads. It’s a lightning storm of gargantuan might and magnificence. With each flash the bay lights up, bathed with a blue-green luminescence as if it’s a giant swimming pool lit from below. The show is at once mesmerising and terrifying. The neighbours continue letting off their fireworks against this backdrop of majestic splendour. The effect is comical.
As the lightning advances around the bay towards us mum and I rush into the house to unplug all the computers and phones. We hear shrieks at the door. Cousin Fay with her friend Simon and Noni's step-son Derek have bowled up. They crack open a bottle of champagne, popping the cork off the balcony and into the jaws of the storm.
Goodbye cork! Goodbye cancer! Goodbye Nick!
It’s an exhilarating finale to a strange and pivotal year for me.