May 3rd, 2006

caillebotte_man at his window

Spring Ritual

Nights, at least, remain cool for now, and allow the house to cool off before dawn. Each day I start out with three or four blankets on the bed, and then wake two or three times to remove them, one by one. The days are uncomfortable, but the clear, starlit nights are breezy, and the sound of new leaves rustling is as calming as petting a purring cat. When gray light begins to show, the fresh blossoms emerge and their colors slowly intensify as the sky pales. There comes a moment when the sky and the lilacs complement one another perfectly. That's when I like to go indoors and close the drapes, to hold that moment in my thoughts and carry its colors into sleep.


A most excellent spring thunderstorm visited us this afternoon. The thunderheads first loomed over the eastern mountains, then gradually displaced the wispy cirrus clouds overhead. The thunder began long before the rain, and while most of the land was yet sunlit. It was nearby thunder, too, the loud booms rattling the windows and sending my cat scurrying to look out the window. There was a good half hour of thunder before the rain finally fell, and the rain never became intense, but it certainly smelled good once everything got wet.

The storm was confined largely to the ridge and mountains, so the western sky remained bright and the declining of the sun provided several minutes of back-lit sun showers. The dark pavements mirrored the clouds and sparkled with tiny splashes. A surprisingly soft wind arose as the storm ended, and the clouds dissipated rather than being blown away.

Now the sky is mostly clear, and the waxing crescent moon has only lately begun its descent from meridian. The cool air is dense with the scent of wet wood and grass and soil, and the chorus of frogs has begun to sing. Stars are emerging. Best of all, the pollen is too wet to become airborne. I anticipate a delightful night.