It is cool, tonight. Yesterday, the afternoon was almost too hot for a pleasant walk. I kept to what little shade there is on the road leading east, until I reached the heavily wooded street at the edge of town. There, only a few patches of sunlight make their way through the trees. The shade was cool. It is now a street of darkening green and of muted color from the fading flowers. It is very restful there.
This spring seems abbreviated. Less than the usual amount of rain means that the fields are drying early, and brown is beginning to show through the green grasses and the patches of wildflowers. Summer's lassitude is creeping up, a full month before the solstice. But in the irrigated yards of the residential streets, only the prematurely faded flowers give any hint of this. And, in the night, drained of all intense color as it is, there is no hint at all; unless, perhaps, it is in the absence of the fragrance of spring, and in the subtle hint of dryness in the air.
I gaze for a while at the dogwood tree in the pool of light, and listen to the crickets, and breath the cool, dry air. Because the light is on, the stars are paled, but the rest of the night seems darker than usual, in contrast to this small bright patch. As I often do, I think for a moment that I could stand here in this moment forever, frozen like that illusory cloud of butterflies. But the constellations are wheeling in the sky, and the northeast will soon grow pale. Tomorrow will come, a bit closer to summer, and fall, and next winter. I go back into the house and close the night and its magic outside the door.