The trees are finally bare. I can see straight through the woods behind my apartment to the highway beyond, to the commercial buildings off to one side.
When the woods are lush and full, I stare at a sea of green, and don’t see past the curtain. It feels like the earth is hugging me. But the sun is also hidden from me in the summer when I’m home. I get no direct sunlight because of the thickness of the trees and green. I see no sunsets, even though my windows face west.
Now I see the sunsets every night when I’m home. I see the ugly highway, but I also see the beauty of the streaks of colors that seem to change every night. I sometimes sit in front of the patio window, mesmerized, watching it happen. And so there is some balance and beauty in looking through the naked, chilling thicket.
I feel everything more intensely this time of year. Summer is carefree. Ice cream at dinnertime? Ok, kid. Stay up a little too late, be tired for camp? Sure. Out late with friends on a weeknight? You bet. Clothing is light and loose and almost non-existent.
Now I grow dark quickly, like the woods that shows me those fleeting few minutes of sunset – get home in time, or miss it, earth seems to say, as it comes earlier and earlier each night. Heavy fabrics and darker colors. Velvet jackets, scarves and boots, more black clothing to match my mood. More outlandish as well. I may wear sparkling purple eye shadow to work even when I’m not going to see anyone else all day except my co-workers. Cross me and you’ll pay for it. I take no prisoners as we go down into the night of winter. When I’m alone, which is more than I’d like, I think too much, drink too much, eat like shit, don’t work out enough. But I also work harder. I’m more creative. The ideas I have in my head are dying for me to sit down at a computer and spill them onto the screen.
I met up with an old friend last night who is undertaking creative endeavors of his own, and we shot the shit for a couple of hours. That was good. I have lunch tomorrow with a couple of people with whom I have a complicated and difficult past, and I embrace that challenge.
Might take the kid skating on Sunday when I pick him up. I hope I don’t injure myself falling on my ass in advance of the long (for me) race Thursday morning.
I’m ok with the risk. You have to live life. Live it hard and fully. As Mom has always said, you can’t store up sunshine.