December 1st, 2013

caillebotte_man at his window

Set

December's hazed light is soft until late afternoon when the sun gets low, and then it penetrates the eye aggressively. Where the road curves toward the sun the drivers squint, and the pavement gleams under the flashing cars. There is some warmth in the light, but the shade of the pines is chilly. Birds avoid it and perch on the sunnier branches or on the cables that festoon the line of utility poles.

Once the sun gets low enough, the light is soft again. Everything falls into pine shade, birds depart from the exposed places and find shelter, and the sky, after the brief flare of sunset, darkens to reveal Venus like the head of a bright pin fixing night in place. Without the sunlight's warmth, the air at last feels entirely like December. The slightest breeze makes me shiver, and like the birds I must retreat to shelter. The stars are wheeling but I will not watch them. I will wrap myself in a warm blanket and read. Lamps are cozier than stars on such a night.


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