May 28th, 2005


Fragrant Night

The chattering birds fall silent, the crickets chirp softly, and night brings its cooling breezes. Much later, when the waning moon rises, the eastern haze turns it the color of a ripe peach. A few thin clouds have at last gathered there, and they catch swirls of moonlight which silhouette the pines. Earth no longer sweats heat, but exudes a gentle warmth, and the sky is set with sparkling stars.

About midnight, as I am watching the moon clear the dark hedge of the woods, the blue-white light of a meteor trail streaks west. At just that moment, a breeze brings the hint of an expected, yet surprising, fragrance. Coaxed by the days of heat, and one of their few great compensations, the first jasmine blossoms have opened. Through the remaining hours of night, as clouds mottle the sky and banish the stars and diffuse the moonlight into a gauzy glow, the scent will grow, permeating the mild air, evoking the exotic, perfect gardens that flourish only in imagination. Though the sultry days to come may drag and oppress, the nights, for a while, will now bring visions. Welcome back, jasmine.

No Need to Get Naked

Ah, cool breeze and fluffy white clouds! A reprieve! The day when the air conditioner must be turned on has been delayed. I probably won't even have to put the fan in the window tonight, and there's not a single insect buzzing about the room. Maybe I'll fire up Sluggo later, and download the e-mail from that Juno account I never bothered to transfer to the new computer. He ought to be good for five or six minutes on such a pleasant evening. Then it's outside I'll go, to watch the stars for a while. Maybe there'll be another meteor.

I discovered a splendid cobweb in the bathroom. It's in a corner, right above the wall sconce that lights the mirror. I don't know how I've missed seeing it before now, as it is quite large, and well lit. The edge of it is thick, and forms an arch that is suggestive of art nouveau architecture. The remainder of it is a great, diaphanous billow, like an impossibly sheer sail turned on its side. Altogether, it is the finest decorative feature of the bland little room. Hooray for poor housekeeping skills!