Monday, April 11, 2011

Day's End

The setting sun, and music at the close,

  As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
    Writ in remembrance more than things long past.
      William Shakespeare
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

         (Gaunt at II, i) 

 It is 8:30 p.m. [04/10/11] and through our back door I can see the sun dipping through the two ash trees, sandwiched together like Siamese twins, the one completing the other so that at the distance of our house, they appear a single, well-proportioned tree. There is a sweet glow of orange there, too pleasant to dismiss, and so I am skipping up the stairs, two at a time, to grab my camera before the sun dips lower.

 Now beneath these very trees, I am rewarded with their darkening branches as roof. It is pleasant standing here, as though protected by the trees, alone but enveloped as the night descends. The corn stubble already has deepened in tone and a few blackbirds sing their stark, raspy call as they find a roost. A Great Blue Heron glides over, dark legs dangling behind, sailing swiftly, silently to some accustomed spot for sleep.

 A few steps north and back towards the house, the sun fires just above the clouds, scudding in from Indiana, advancing a cold front that will end this record-breaking day. The old record, 82° in 1905, was surpassed with an 84° at the airport; I, though not official, had 86°. So it is a warm summer's day put to bed.

 A final flicker and the sun dips behind the advancing clouds. A few separate puffy cumulus give the sun an arched brow as night arrives.
 I know the music by heart; I've tasted the sweets; I will remember this night forever.