The Best Part Of A Summer’s Day

The bright, silvery moon has, over the last couple of mornings, slowly been erased from the sky. In its place, only a persistent sliver remains. I step out of the cool interior of our apartment, and into the tepid air of the early morning. As I start to peddle my bicycle, the air quality changes. It feels cool against my skin where droplets of sweat slowly start to gather.

My husband speeds past me. His exuberant energy grabs hold of my bicycle and drags me along. We speed past a peacock perched on a wall, guinea fowl scratching in the dirt, and the disembodied cluck of chickens. An assortment of workers are slowly starting their daily chores. With the summer working hours in place that prohibit labourers that toil outside to work during the heat of the day, the workday starts soon after first light.

The paved walkway looping around clumps of trees that fill a gravelly expanse of nothingness, and bordering a wadi, is where we are heading. It is a place where we encounter the same faces day after day. Some walking, some running. Some grunting greetings, others smiling encouraging words in our direction. The trees come alive with birdsong as we flit past. An astounding variety of bird calls echo through the motionless morning air and swoop in graceful arcs above our heads, before disappearing amongst thorny acacia trees.

Just before we cross the highway to head home, the sun glides over the horizon. On this day it resembles a bleached disk of copper. The sky stays pale and hazy; heavy with dust. On the odd occasion it turns into a riot of colour; glowing in anticipation of the day that will soon turn into a furnace.

My leg muscles burn as we stop for a couple of greedy gulps of water that has long since lost its chill. We slip, once again, into the deserted streets of our neighbourhood, as we head home to a steaming cup of coffee in our tiny garden where the smell of jasmine tinges the air.