Chequered Daylight

The curtains are faded cotton, wide vertical stripes of pink, lilac and pale apricot: overprinted horizontal bands of pale crimson turn each stripe into an oblong, the crimson taking on different shades as it passes over pink, lilac then apricot in repeat. As the light changes outside, the quality of light shining through the curtains changes too.

I remember so clearly how I liked to watch this happening of light and colour play out every morning. I loved how the sunlight glowed through the cloth and cast a pink atmosphere into my bedroom, which deepened and faded. I was fascinated by the different hues and overlapping chequered tints of colour filtered through the curtains.  This was my first, most profound experience of colour and light: I was about four years old.

When I was seven years old, we moved to Edinburgh. The windows in my new bedroom were now both wider and taller which stretched out the curtains and lessened their magic. I looked the curtains out recently and put them up again. Even though after fifty-five years they are frayed and washed out, when the sun shines through, the colour still glows.