New York City, October 1, 2017

★★★★★ Little clouds—some dense and near-unmoving, some cottony and fraying as they went—occupied the west in groups. The six-year-old mostly vanished in his scooter, in the shade, against the sun-struck flank of a silver minivan. Some men were still committed to shorts, even if it required a hoodie or a puffy jacket. Berries and fattening seedpods hung inside the fence of Sherman Square. The shine on the metal curb was like a white stripe painted there. The sky was saturated with light; even with the blinds half-shut, the brightness swelled into the room. Out again in the irresistible afternoon, the six-year-old made his now-overmastered three-wheeled tot scooter bounce up and down on the sidewalk. Birthday balloons were up by the picnic tables on the playground but the rest of the yard was scarcely less crowded than the party. A baseball glinted as the top of its arc passed through a sunbeam. A girl clanked around on a pogo stick. Birds flew low through the space where the frisbee was going, as if they were more wayward pieces of sports equipment.