★★ False starts and broken promises. The sun came through as the children scootered into the playgrond. The sycamore tops had gone green but were still see-through. Birds sang. A soccer ball hit some other child on a scooter and both continued on slightly altered trajectories. Outerwear and helmets were shed and hung on parked handlebars, just in time for the gray to close in again and a cold wind to pick up. Noon was darker and chillier than 11 had been. The older child, using the playground restroom, had to move his hands back and forth between the cold-only tap and the hot-air dryer. The afternoon was dark and light and dark, cold and hot and cold. There was a little rain in there, somewhere. Then it was dazzling: dark clouds hung in the sky due west and north, with sooty wisps trailing below the northern ones, while the river and far-off cars sparkled in the light washing up from the south. The two-year-old was eager to go scootering again, but as he headed out the door, fat raindrops were spotting the brick plaza. He pressed on, and the drops fell harder and harder till with a block to go, after a wind-lashed street-corner colloquy, he agreed to give up. The way back was over sheets of water and through blowing blasts of rain, past figures huddled in the scant shelter of a doorway or awning, all the while facing a clear blue sky down the avenue. By the time the storm departed, it was time to take care of dinner. Gorgeous and unusable light surged into the kitchen, glancing off the white paint of the bedroom door, good for nothing.