New York City, November 3, 2013

★★ A fleeting moment of blue vanished into a gray morning. The scooters had to scoot out into it regardless; the unsaved daylight hours were dwindling away. A cold, sparse drizzle was blowing on a cold wind, but the fallen leaves were still dry and curly enough for one to scrape along under a scooter for a while. Even in the gloom, the maple at the far eastern end of the schoolyard was a saturated gold. The children scootered around and through games of foursquare, basketball, soccer. Adults were playing racquetball on the concrete wall. It got darker. The two-year-old took to the climber, his nose and his feet both running freely, and refused to leave till he was hauled away. Then, during naptime, the actual daylight broke through, dazzling quantities of it. Yellow taxis crossed on the elevated expressway above yellow trees and a band of yellow leaves inside the fence where the developers keep green space off limits to park-goers. Upthrust bundles of bare rebar threw long shadows across the current top level of the rising building next door. The two-year-old, awake, wanted to head out again. The late amber glow clung to figures in hooded orange blankets, shuffling bare-legged away from the Park. The clouds had blown out so completely that there was nothing to see of sunset, just a bland fading wash of color over the river.