August 19th, 2007

hopper_summer_evening

Decline

Clouds, absent a while, have made a return the last couple of days. Saturday there were strands of cirrus like white celestial beaches clinging to concealed reefs. All night they thickened and by Sunday morning had formed an almost complete overcast, admitting only a few patches of blue eastward above the Sierra. Though they later thinned again, all afternoon there were shaded hours while vast swaths of gray drifted overhead. Evening stretched them to breaking and, once the sun had set, I saw the crescent moon white amid swaths of fading pink.

The dark objects of the world, those most reluctant to surrender light, then (as always) became the first to recede, and I sat gazing at the pale and moonlit oleander blossoms hovering where the deep green foliage had vanished moments earlier. Night had fallen well before nine o'clock, and the town's children went silent, all their games brought to an end. The waning days of August bring a touch of melancholy to the dusk. No songs the insects chant can lessen my restlessness. I wish the clouds had brought a summer rain.

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