Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beware of the twilight. The shadows can trick you.

The darkness is back.  Twilight at 4:00 p.m.  Night falls at 5:00.  My mother said: It's the most dangerous time of day.  The shadows can trick you.  She was afraid of us on bicycles.  Out on the streets.  Oncoming cars. Careless children.  All six of us.  Our cheeks ruddy from the cold.  The kitchen windows steamed.  A pile of sweaters and socks by the back door.  Dinner time and its totally dark out.

Today, in Brooklyn, it means the streets are littered with yellow leaves. It means the light from the setting sun falls at an oblique angle.  The brownstones across the street are gilded, momentarily, against a backdrop of pure blue sky.  Coming up from the 4 train after work, its dark.  It means I drink more coffee.  Suddenly think: get out while its still light. 

I like the way the days diminish leading up to the solstice.  I like that the light becomes more and more burnished.  More oblique. I hear the sound of dry leaves underfoot, the distant echo of children.  The trees in the park are orange, yellow, red.  Somewhere, not here, a young mother admonishes her sons and daughters: Beware of the twilight.  The shadows can trick you.

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