Autumn sun is brighter for its coolness. Summer’s haze has faded and the sky is getting down to cold business. It has cleared itself, shed every bit of fat and idleness, and is remembering how to be serious.
I didn’t notice it as much as I should have. Though I am getting back to noticing more, it’s easy to fall into the mind’s yammering trap: HTML, laundry detergent, dollar store toothpaste, election claptrap, should I buy a TV? Roads are all speed going to work. Where did all those years riding the bus mornings go, dew on the lawns and the world all rush before eight o’clock? We are all going somewhere with great purpose and speed, dropping stuff along the way without noticing. It is very important that we are somewhere else.
Exhausted from the weekend I get up very late, dreaming the running dishwasher is everything but a running dishwasher. I stay late and don’t get outside much despite the unusual presence of a brilliant, cloudless sky. Leaves are turning, many trees half-empty, but the grass and bushes are green, flowers and berries still bright. The sun has warmth and the air, though cool, does not have that deep edge of having risen up from cool. It is summer’s air still, dipping down from warmth.
Autumn is still new enough that there’s a lingering dusk when I leave after seven. Monday rushhour is over in my part of the city, everyone having fled to their kid’s soccer game or master’s degree class, and all the lanes are sparse for late starters like me.
I see it then. Nothing spectacular, nothing I haven’t seen countless times before, nothing that isn’t always there ready to be seen. The sky is a deep indigo behind me, and the fading dusk out the windshield is deep magenta, a little orange, a slight brightness beyond the western mountains. A few thin mare’s tail clouds streak through, white and grey and the deep reflection of the colors. The great fir trees lining the freeway punch out stark blackness, each needle distinct. The hills are dotted with lights. Nearby townhouses glow with tungsten yellow and television blue. I turn off the radio to see.
Dusk is complete, final and observable in a way dawn is not. We can stand out in it and let it fall around us, fall as if into a quiet. The mood is gentle, both resplendent and quiet, like a tablecloth. It’s the colors, I think, and the sense that things are cooling.
For a minute this daily portal to the eternal whirligig of orbits was in my windshield, and I paid attention. The colors were so real and palpable I could see the grain in my vision. It was a sunset like every day–every day there is sun. Yesterday’s was plain, really, yet I both hate to think of all those I have missed and am also not worried. There will be more, and this one, for certain, will always have been.