Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Sun Passes Overhead

Lately I've been acutely aware of the passage of time.

Not the seasons of my life or how the weeks blend into months, but the actual motion of the hours across the day.

When I wake up in the early morning, a fresh hopefulness hangs in the air and in the soft pink light of the new start.

In full morning, I drive the girls to school and walk through the strengthening rays of the sun. The day's weather is declaring itself and the day is taking shape.

By mid-morning, I leave my house again to go to work. The light is full and warm and rich and everything is clear. The warmth is still a promise and there is time to do whatever needs to be done.

I work through the full light of noon, by windows if I can. Outside, on a day like today, when the air is mild and I can camp outside Starbucks and slip onto their wifi for the price of a coffee.

When I emerge into the afternoon, the day has shifted. The lazy, hazy sky says that time has passed while I was occupied. Fatigue and heat mark the return from school and the beginning of the evening's rush of chores.

The evening softens again. A breeze sweeps by. Inside we put a meal on the table, clean away the day's mess, wrestle with notebooks and pencils and worksheets of the day. The late afternoon taunts us to come outside and play, but there is so much to be done!

If we are lucky, we catch the sunset. Dusk is my favorite time of day, the blurring of a boundary, the smooth shadowing of the world as we slip from day to night. A friend's culture believes that spirits fly about at dusk, released by the transition of the world. Her family stays inside until the sun is fully gone and the dark calls the spirits back. Me, however, I love to walk through the grey and purple light and see the shapes of trees anew as silhouettes against the coming stars.

Then darkness falls. The work is put aside or finished up. On good nights, there is time to sit, to breathe, to relax together in the warm lamplight of the home. On bad nights, we push to finish what we must in time to sleep.

Another day has slipped by, bit by bit, changing as it goes.

The dark is one long pause, and then the day begins again.

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