New York City, December 4, 2013

★★★★ The ordinary sky over the routine walk back from preschool had, if you looked straight up, a rainbow in it—a short, bright arc just off the zenith, convex sunward. It was mild again; the toddler’s monkey mittens had dangled unused on their string from his sleeves. A glow filled the old glass phone booth on West End, where a woman was on a phone call. Gradually, white clouds gathered, reticulating the sky, and by the end of the downtown ride the reticulations had closed over into solid gray. The sun came back briefly out the office windows, but was gone again before there was time to go looking for it. The damp evening air had a rustic smell of smoke on it. Lights gleamed on the long needles of a strand of pine rope so intensely it had to be fake.