★★★ The cloud light through the trees was deep green, for sleeping in and for sleeping in. A tiger swallowtail flapped and glided back and forth outside the second-floor windows. The goldfinches were the same strong yellow the early fireflies had been the evening before. A female hummingbird sipped at a plastic flower on the feeder, while the male perched on one bare curving stalk amid the swelling wave of trumpet vine. Now and again he flashed the red of his throat. Outdoors was damp, the air full of peeping and piping and trilling. Spiderwebs hung in even the broad gaps between the trees, clinging to the face and neck. The grass had surrendered; the lawn was moss, violets, clovers, plantain. Mock strawberry, mushrooms the color of varnished wood. The low growth trembled with the passing of daddy longlegs. In midafternoon, the sun came out, over the back roads leading around the first of the traffic jams on the interstate. Up out of Maryland the sky was crowded with cumulus, but with gaps of blue finding the car along the way. In Delaware, the heavens and the road were choked off together, dark gray above and hopeless dark red on the traffic-flow map. A sprinkle of rain fell on the unmoving cars. In the distance were torqued and rippling cloud shape. Squeezing finally out into New Jersey brought glimpses of blue again. The two-year-old exclaimed and pointed out the half-moon, high in the daytime. All up the Turnpike, at intervals, came flooding gorgeous light, clear on the trees and the blossoms and the parked waiting excavators. Newark Airport was submerged in an enchanted rosy glow, a fog made of light, the low-flying planes immense but phantasmal. A blue blur over Manhattan matched the pink mists to the west. Then the sun was down, the car on its way back to the parking lot, past cyclists and overspilling restaurant crowds in the lukewarm darkness. Even Times Square, the colored signs of 44th Street scattering on the humid air, looked like a pleasant place to be. The half-moon remained, sharp and white.
Monday, August 4th, 2014