November 26th, 2017

caillebotte_man at his window


Up the block in someone's back yard there is a cluster of trees. Some, not oaks, are still thick with leaves that have turned a bright yellow. This side of them is one smaller tree that is a particularly vivid shade of red with a hint of blue— crimson, perhaps, or ruby. The cluster stood out in today's gray rain.

The storm's center must have passed directly over us. There was rain all morning, then in the afternoon it slowed and ceased for a while, and then quickened and fell again for a few hours. The pause— the storm's eye, most likely, though it was a fogged eye that could not see the sun— lasted an hour or so, and brought with it a thin, swirling fog. During this pause the cluster of trees grew especially bright, while all around them seemed dim by comparison. They lit up the fog all the way up into the gray sky, as though the light were issuing from the trees themselves.

Later, as dusk gathered, the yellow trees faded until their color was barely discernible, though the air near them still seemed brighter than anywhere else, while the red tree's color grew deeper and more intense, dominating the scene. Its persistence was fascinating, and I watched until it was swallowed by the darkness. Those trees will soon be losing their leaves, probably before the next rain, so I believe I have observed a rare scene. I'm glad Portia insisted on going outside instead of using the sandbox, or I might have missed it.

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