August 5th, 2012

caillebotte_man at his window


A single, enormous thunderhead rises beyond Sawmill Peak. A skirt of gray smoke from the fire surrounds the cloud's lower levels, but the white billows above are pristine. The wind has veered round and the air here is clear, for now. A slight breeze makes the leaves rustle and flash late afternoon sunlight. The distance is silent, no sound of thunder intruding on the serenity, the slow movement of cloud and smoke unperturbed by any hint of lightning.

Our heated air smells only of dry grass and pine resin, unless I draw near the gardenia bush where two blossoms remain. Up there in the mountains the reek must be filling canyons and turning the sunlight a pale red that will deepen as evening progresses. Our light is golden this afternoon, and sunset's shade is apt to be no more intense than that of fading pink roses.

It has seemed a quite normal summer day, but that could all change within a few hours should the wind shift again, and would change even more if that giant thunderhead unleashes bolts of lightning that cause new fires. But wondering is pointless. There are feral cats to be fed, and plants to be watered before night swallows them. I might breathe fresh air all night, or I might not, but at least it will be cooler air.

It's almost time to open the windows and hear the crickets. Not an hour too soon.

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