Sunday, October 16, 2016
Autumn evenings are finally here. I wait all year for this short stretch - a week or two, no more - when the sunset happens at just such a time and in just such a way. Right now, it comes at a perfect moment, when I've finished cleaning up the kitchen and have just tucked the GB into bed. Suddenly, I'm free. The first thing I do is wash my face; it's my time-for-me ritual since I became a mother. I have always relished the feeling of a clean face and at the end of a long day, it's the one thing that truly refreshes me. I practically run to my bathroom after I shut her door.
If I get outside on time, I can watch the mountain take on the color of its namesake - Sandia, or watermelon in Spanish. The granite lights up orange-pink for just a few minutes and everything - sky, trees, my very skin while I stand there - glows a little. To the west, a fiery display as the sun sinks beneath the horizon. I look back and forth from mountain to mesa - it changes fast. By the time the moon rises over the garden wall, I feel calmer, ready to start the next round with the LB. He's been at the kitchen counter with the Bear, two sandy heads bent over a math textbook. Now it's time to supervise his evening rituals - chores, shower, last-minute backpack check - while I make something decaffeinated for me and the Bear to sip as we go about the rest of our evening. He works, I crochet or read. We watch mindless things on Netflix. Or smart-ish things, but not as much.
That's an autumn evening as we experience it. We're still waiting, as I write, for the weather to really turn. I haven't noticed the furnace to come on yet, as it will have once or twice by this time most years. This time of year is tricky, weather-wise; it can still be quite warm, as it was this past week. I felt disoriented; it was so dark, yet there was barely a hint of crispness. No sweater needed - no shoes, even. It's temporary, of course. By the end of the week, it's supposed to be chilly. The furnace will probably run. We'll kick off our covers in dusky early morning, waking to its familiar sounds, last year's dust toasting in the ducts. We'll eat our cereal in a pool of yellow light, talking about the fresh, new day ahead of us, and evening putters in the backyard will seem a million miles away.