Friday, November 13, 2015
Right now, and for another week or so, there is a slice of late afternoon when the sun turns everything in my yard to gold. The trees over the arroyo light up for just a few minutes, looking much brighter than they do at any other time of day. It's my favorite time of day in the fall, and I have written about it in years past too. It's a good time of day to wander the yard, getting up high to look over the wall and straight up the arroyo to where it turns and disappears from sight, tawny trees diminishing into the distance.
On Tuesday, it was windy. There was a front coming in and the air turned icy. The breeze was the kind you feel in your bones and teeth, even after you're back in the house. I wanted to go outside and look around at my usual time, but the kids wanted to stay inside. Too cold, they said, too windy. Fine, then, I'll go by myself, I said, and I did. There was a lot to see. And to hear - everything rattled with dryness. Skeletal seed pods dropped around me as I passed through the courtyard - the trumpet vine shedding its slender brown beans. The little olive tree let down a shower of pale yellow leaves. The strawberry plants huddled low, russet-red and white-edged.
The glow lasted for just a few moments, the light rearranging itself, color shifting to the mountain - golden leaf giving way to rosy rock. By the time I went back into the house, the mountain was having its turn. I watched it fade to gray as I cooked dinner, one eye on the kitchen window. Ordinary miracles occurred: vegetables were sauteed, rice was spooned up, plates were dealt around the table. The day's adventures were discussed, the day's woes digested. Meanwhile, outside: darkening sky, emerging stars, whistling wind. The evening coasted toward baths and bedtime and finally, my own time (which included laundry that night, but laundry cycles are blessedly long). It was the best time of day. The best time.