There are things I miss from childhood, but, in the main, they are not childish things.

A single mountain, a dormant volcano, Taranaki Maunga, configured similarly to Mt. Fuji but with its own mythology. The Māori believe that he was once part of a family with the three volcanoes that inhabit the center of the island, hundreds of kilometers away. That he fought with them, ran away, & the path he took is now the Whanganui River.

More  myth, my mythology, before that. The mountain range that ‘struts the backbone of the land’ as I wrote in an early 60s poem. The Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana, growing up with it as one horizon, a wall that both extended & closed-in sight.

& I remember the Aurora Australis, Tahu-nui-ā-Rangi, seen later, once only, above & southerly on a road that ran from the end of the suburb where I lived in Wellington down to the sea. Seen just after a dusk that took two hours to disintegrate, to traverse that span between day & night.

That is the trigger for the other memories, because here there is little twilight. Too close to the equator. Dusk—if you could call it that—is a brief entr’acte. A switch is flicked. End of story. No twilight’s last gleaming.

I wonder if it’s a compression, because that is the thing I do miss from childhood, the extension of time, how you could explore the entire world between sunup & sundown. Wake up, & the end of the day was too far away to see.

Now, it’s wake up, blink, & the day is gone.

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