On Summer Evenings

A summer evening is my favourite time of day. The hours between six and nine, when the heat of the day is past, the light is golden and the shadows lengthening and striking. If it has rained, the air is cool and crisp and the smell of petrichor lingers.

The kind of evening made for wine and barbeques, which segues into the kind of balmy night where you sit inside at the pubs, but can walk between them comfortably in only a t-shirt, and everyone is in good spirits.

Jostled by the wind and trailing lengthening shadows the plants seem to reach for the last of the amber light. I am struck by their innocence and helplessness. The innocence of plants.

Don’t they know it’s futile, this rat-race of traits and genes? One day there will be too much sun. Then none at all, forever. They nurtured, us, created us, we breathe because they must eat. And it is up to us to save them. We must break our bonds and transport them along with ourselves to other stars, hopping from Earth to Earth until the universe itself dies, in defiance of nothing and everything; of sheer probability. The fucker.

 

A summer evening is my least favourite time of day. The hours between around nine and darkness, when the sky is grey. When night has fallen, it is night and you know what’s what. The streetlights stand as points of light against the darkness, illuminating it, or else it is pitch black and you know things can not get worse.

But when the day has been cloudy there is an extended period of sickly grey fading light. Everything seems wan and dying. The streetlights, though lit, are still outilluminated by the sky and seem to shine out in futility. It’s a dispiriting gloom. In winter, and at other times of year, this period is over mercifully quickly. But since the length of day does not change with the weather, in summer it is dragged out dishearteningly.

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