Sunday, January 20, 2013

Last Light

There is a time of night here in Pau, that always presents itself suddenly. The hour when the final parts of what is obviously day leaves, and only those who look out their windows or happen to be still making their way home see the change, catch the light that rests in the last visible clouds, charged with color from the sun who has already made his way behind the blackening mountians.
It is the time when you must turn on the first lights of evening to continue your reading by, or prepare your meal.
Each tall house on the street out my window begins to slowly illuminate itself. Each room one by one, inside the kitchen, living room, entryway, there is life and there is movement. These small houses on the street like doll houses, lit up by hesitant candle light not yet holding its full strength against a still grey sky.
These small, toy signs of life populate my evenings with silent gestures in the window panes, with whispers just far enough not to be heard.
But this eclipse of time passes quickly, and soon the quiet, heavy of night  invades the boundaries of this imagined childhood safety and places itself as equally in plain view as in that which is hidden.
Our front doors closing behind the dog let in for the evening, our curtains drawing, our gates locking, and the street lights finally coming aglow. Theirs will be the light to lead the last few home, and theirs will be the light by which I will see you, hands full of groceries, closing the gate to your yard and disappearing into the now darkness of your mild home.