I lay on my stomach at St-Exupéry Point, watching the sunset on the sea through the silhouettes of flowers and feathered grass. I’d named every feature of this landscape – Crocodile’s Cradle, Shimmering Deep, the Primrose Path of Dalliance, Buttercup Hill (which I used to roll down and whisper to myself, ‘Can you move? You’re alive, if you want I can fly.’) But St-Exupéry Point at sunset was my favourite place to mope. You know – one loves the sunset, when one is so sad…
In my dye-stained summer dress and wellies, with seagull feathers in my tangled hair and stars scribbled on my arms, I lay and watched the last of the day go down into the sea, felt the blue chill of night stealing up behind me and the earth slowly turning underneath me.
This is time, I thought. This is time passing. I imagined myself lying on a clockwork earth, cogs as big as continents turning among the stars. Watching as the past melted like gold into the sea, feeling the unseen future at my back; moment by moment, wave by wave, the future washing over me, turning into the past.
I felt the meaning of the sunset sink into my bones. Things change. The saddest and the most hopeful thought in the world.