The breeze came in from Western Port over the Moorooduc Plains and in through the fly screen to a warm kitchen where dinner was being prepared by my friend, our guest. He had been here to convalesce from a stay in hospital which had shocked and exhausted us both into such vulnerable states that we now saw each other through softer yet clearer eyes.
The black shape had been above the cooker for a few days now but with such high ceilings it seemed far enough from us to just let it be and not question its motive. I had dare not mention it to the children in case it had brought fright to a house that had seen so much change in the last few weeks, I also hoped that it wasn’t what it appeared to be (a gigantic cockroach).
The mood in the house tonight was content and I sat relaxing with a new perspective of my place in life, a different view from the kitchen table and so the black shape caught my eye once again.
‘What do you think that is?’ I asked my friend
‘Oh that’s a bat’ he said nonchalantly in his soothing Aussie drawl
‘A bat!’ exclaimed my daughter sitting at the table doing her homework, ‘Oh Awesome!’ Immediately getting up and calling her brothers name in excitement as if Father Christmas himself had just appeared!
As the gas stove was lit and the heat rose the black shape came to life unfolding its wings, slowly moving, then suddenly flying around the kitchen causing us all to whoop, giggle and duck our heads. Silence then hit us and with wide eyes we watched the magnificence of its sonar moving quickly and quietly until it found its way through to the large front room where it could glide about with ease up and down, round and round, fast and slow. Finally after a while settling back in the kitchen in a different home the black shape watched over us while we ate our dinner.
‘We need to get him out, there’s no food in here!’ exclaimed my son
‘He’ll find a way, we’ll leave the door and windows open for him’ letting all his usual food or friends in! I thought but did not say.
I got up in the middle of the night to find my son sitting on the sofa.
‘Careful Mum!’ he whispered as he pointed to the bat, watching as it flew around and around. ‘Isn’t it amazing?’
‘It is!’ I said and we sat for an hour cuddling on the sofa watching this creature entertain us so easily in this surreal situation, eventually surrendering to slumber as our eyes grew weary.
And so the black shape wasn’t what it appeared at first and brought no fright to our household that night or that week, only hours of excitement, wonder and awe.