Thursday, June 16, 2016
Lately I've taken to walking through the house and the backyard in the evenings, partly for some fresh air after the hectic dinner-baths-bedtime portion of the day, but also because the light levels are simply unbelievable as we approach the summer solstice. It's very hot now; records may even be broken over the next few days as we endure a serious heatwave in the Southwest. Evenings cool down fairly quickly, though, which is the best thing about a hot, dry climate. We're sleeping well, which is good because when the sun rises in the morning, it might as well be piercing our eyes. Bad language is sometimes used upon greeting the day. Goodness, that early morning sun.
The evening light is more pleasant, a diluted version of the purer early light. Just before sunset, on these hot, dry evenings, the light pours into the western windows of the house, casting rainbows on walls and furniture. I try to close the blinds on that side of the house in mid-afternoon, to keep the sun out and the rooms cool for bedtime. It works, barely. Once the children are in bed, I head outside to deadhead flowers, put away stray toys or lawn furniture and some nights, amble around with my camera, checking plant progress and watching the light change.
It's just slightly less than baking hot outside by evening, but it's quiet. My evening strolls in the backyard are a calming finish to the busy summer's day. The daylight hours will soon begin their slow and steady wane, but there is still so much summer ahead. In the evening, I reflect on my day and plan the next one, thinking about the good things in summer - hot sunshine and sudden storms, line-dried laundry, cold glasses, swimming days, library days, reading under a tree, making ice cream, salad for dinner, flowers in a jar on the kitchen table every single day.