There’s a black wrought-iron gate at the side of our house. It’s heavy, and when it closes it bangs against a sandstone post. I always know when the postman is coming with the mail.
It’s also the sound of my daughter leaving for school, and coming home from school. It’s the same sound both times, of course, but somehow, in my heart, it feels different in the morning when she’s leaving to catch the bus than in the afternoon when she comes home.
At 4.30pm, the gate swings shut, and my heart opens wide. My daughter is home! Now that the days are drawing in, and there’s a distinct nip in the air, my goal is to be finished work before she comes home, and to have the wood stove lit, and the kettle on.
This is our time. The hour or so before dinner when we get cosy by the wood stove, sip tea, and chat about our day.
Yesterday I told her what the sound of the gate means to me in the afternoon. She replied that she takes her headphones out of her ears before she opens the door so she can hear my voice. Seems this afternoon greeting is important to both of us.