Copyright © 2018
By Ralph F. Couey
It was our last night in Denver, the inevitable closing of one set of doors. Earlier in the day we had flown in from Maryland after tending to some grandparent duties with the East Coast branch of the family. We were in the home of our youngest daughter, Jamie, having spent most of the afternoon and evening culling through the eight suitcases that constituted most of what we still owned in the world that was still mobile. We had Chinese take-out, my favorite cuisine and were sitting around, just talking. Cheryl was getting some tech help from Jamie when Jamie asked me to take her dog, Neil, out for a walk. Having spent much of the previous three weeks NOT walking, I eagerly assented. Clicking the leash onto the collar of a happy Neil, we headed out.
It had been a beautiful day, and the air as we stepped off the porch was delightfully cool and crisp, a welcome change after swampy Maryland. It was a reminder that fall was approaching, and I was feeling a little disappointed that I would not be around to see, hear, and feel what has always been my favorite season. The sun had gone already, but the sky still held the vestiges of its dying rays. Summer skies are different, in that during winter, when the sun goes away, the night moves in rapidly, the blackness taking quick possession. But during the summer, sunset begins a longer transition. The bright blue gives way slowly to a darker shade eventually becoming a soft purple. As the color deepens, the stars and planets begin to appear, one by one, as if they were reluctant to share the stage with each other, the pinpoints of light begin to shine.
This long, purple twilight has a purpose for summer days are hard to release. There is so much life in that season, not just in nature, but in each other. Children play in the gathering dusk until their mothers judge that the day is over, and they must return inside. Accompanying the delicate end of the day, in the trees, grass, and bushes, crickets begin to chirp. Like the stars, it begins individually, one here, one there. Then the entire choir joins the chorus.