Friday, April 16, 2010

Sunrise was at 6:18, sunset will be at 8:01. Yay! It's light into night now! This is the time of year that Robert Louis Stevenson's poem, Bed in Summer, always pops into my head:

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

I grew up in a really little town where kids played outside until they couldn't see what they were catching or throwing and their voices echoed in the fields.

When I moved back to Eugene for college, I lived in a little apartment that was surrounded by alleys and slow trafficked streets on many sides, and the yells and screams, the boinging of too-full balls, in the yellow heat and dust of waning day were a siren's call; I had to go out and be a part of the magical part of day that seemed pared out of the normal, a piece that existed out of time. Until it started to get dark and then time sped up and it was night.

It still feels like that to me as an adult. There's work, there's night, and then, as summer expands, there's that time between both that feels like a gift. It seems like you should do something special with that time, read outside, walk under the shadows of trees, watch the sun go down (and note how long it takes!), do inside things outside like knitting, eating, napping.

I hope you all had a chance to see the sky last night and spent a few minutes looking at the red-tinged crescent moon. Exquisite.

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