The night sky is fine silk strewn across the horizon. It is a blending of a heavenly grey and a light blue. I am upstairs, cocooned in my bedrooom seeking shelter from the cacophony of teenage voices hailing from the patio. I have no business there. Out there in the calm, balmy night, alien music blasts from a stereo and marshmallows are toasted on the chiminea that burns with the branches of the tree long gone. I don't know why but I feel a terrible nostalgia about me, a seeping through into my bones of a sadness I cannot quite grasp. There is my son, turning sixteen, with all these wonderful friends around him, arriving with baked cakes and gifts and hugs and god, I can't believe it really. It is as if for the first time that I see him as he prepares to leave me. I saw it years ago but only in a fleeting fashion. He was taking wind surfing lessons and each day, as I watched him improve, he seemed to drift further and further away from me, the wind taking him gradually out, fearless, in an almost defiant way, into the unknown. Then, there was a calming period, where no wind dared to blow. And now. This. All these new young people with young people's voices, coming to this house, vibrant and alive and wearing bright clothes and sunglasses and young and so, so happy. It amazes me. I stop in my tracks. I take count of myself seeing then. I look at my hands, aged dappled already from a short existence of a time spent in a hot desert sun. Is my mind that dappled too? What energy abounds out on our small patio. Such joy. Such carefree happiness that I must have forgotten. Ah but surely time will come knocking on these happy voices, on the thrill, the cooing of friendship, the indulgence of youth. Surely, it all comes around. Still, who am I fooling? Would I not love to be back in my youthful bliss, of the carefree days, like this day, when I watched my son embrace his friends, his tall gangly buddies, his pretty board short clad girl friends. Of course I would. I am here in this room watching the night sky darken and the horizon flicker with a distant unknown light. The voices below on the patio are quieter now, less shrill, a tad mellow. Why, even the young voices need time to rest.