Late April, my backyard.
After I've put my daughter to bed, I go out to the backyard and wander. It's pleasant in the evenings now and I go out barefoot. The patios are still warm from afternoon sun, the grass is growing soft and green again. I pick up stray balls and bats, take the patio umbrella out of the table in case the wind comes up, park bicycles more neatly under the porch roof. Soon, I'll have potted plants to water. The light changes minute by minute as the sun sinks lower in the west. The green things get darker while the mountain lights up pink as its namesake, the watermelon. The chickens settle into the coop as the sun fades. They converse contentedly, using their brand-new clucking sounds. I'm contented too, savoring the cool, new grass under my feet, thinking about the new growing season, the end of the school year, the beginning of the long summer break. There will be beautiful sunsets for months to come, but these are my favorite ones; it's novel to be outdoors in the evening, in light and warmer weather, smelling the neighbors' barbecue grills, knowing my children will both soon be tucked up inside, outdoors-tired again from their play in the afternoon. Eventually, I go inside. There is a reading boy to tuck in now; first, we compare our shadows, lengthening on the garden wall. Then the house is quiet. I have my yarn and hook and a stack of library books. My heart is full with my day, the patterns and routines which make up this life I lead, this home which isn't perfect but suits us fine, the family I share it with, the mountain I can almost reach out and touch, the sinking sun and the painted sky.