We woke on Saturday morning to white. A heavy fog cocooned the city and when I went out to pick up the paper clammy fingers brushed my skin, showered me in water dust. More than a couple of houses up the street even the ghostly shapes of cars and trees melted away. From the family room window the furthest visible things were the power lines in front of my neighbours' house fencing us in - or keeping a lurking something out. I'm not sure which.
The only sounds were those in and right outside the the house - Angus kitten playing with a ball, the radio, the occasional cawing of the raven sitting on the fence near the door. Nothing moved outside. A dove hunched on a rafter, fluffed to twice its normal size. No sign of the flocks of honeyeaters and wattlebirds who are usually out feeding, squabbling or splashing in the bird bath.
The sun burned its way through the clouds and fog - first just a fuzz of lighter cloud, then slowly brighter, wrapped in a watery nimbus that vaporised, until it broke through. Puzzled birds woke breaking into a belated dawn chorus and I could see roofs in the next street, palms, and cars.
The first rays of sunlight bejeweled the camellia where droplets hung from every leaf and set silvery beads winking and glittering in the curve of the nasturtium leaves.
Sound crept back with muffled steps- a car starting in the next street, the distant hum of the highway, ravens arguing. Looking down into the valley fog still hid houses, parks, the school, making us an island in a sea of white that slowly receded - and vanished.