Friday, March 07, 2008


Reading in the car while the baby slept (bringing her into the house usually wakes her up, so I just carry a book around in the diaper bag) recently, I paused when I saw the word "gloaming." Another one for my list, I thought, and my mind began to wander. "Sunset" had made my list, and when I saw "dusk" on Eleeza's, I realized that "twilight" should have been on mine. Considering how so many words for the same thing make me happy, I decided that it must be something about that time of day, some kind of magic to the sinking of the sun, the ending of the day. And I think that magic seems stronger this time of year as it becomes apparent that we are on the other side of Solstice at last. In the winter it becomes dark before I've had much of a chance to notice, but as the days begin to lengthen, I can appreciate sunset, dusk, twilight, the gloaming. I can indulge nostalgia for other times when I've noticed that particular time of day.

I remember drawing with chalk on the back patio and playing on the swingset and picking plums off the tree and eating them in the evenings--a whole series of memories I can't quite place in time, all mashed together in my mind.

I remember playing outside after dinner with our new puppy when I was ten years old, my brother and sister and me, all chasing and being chased.

I remember walking home from the house of a friend who lived up the hill from me, my clothing damp and leaving me just a little too cold because the sprinklers had come on while we were sitting outside and we thought it would be a good idea to run through them, even though we were old enough to be too cool for that kind of thing.

I remember coming up the slope from McHenry, probably sometime in spring of my junior year of college. I was alone and it was quiet, and as I passed the (hardly used) student center I felt light and happy. The sun had mostly set, but color still streaked the sky and the bay.

I remember sitting on my front step in Alexandria, watching neighbors climb off the bus and take their dogs for a walk before dinner, while I read poetry.

I remember holding hands with Brian, while he wore Adriana on his chest and we took a walk when he was returned home after work last spring.

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