Sunday, September 28, 2008

Starry, Starry Night

Amy and I missed the sunset tonight. My daughter and I’d intended to be on the beach approach to watch the sun go down, but too many errands and a slow waitress for our last-night-at-the-beach-dinner meant that it was nearly full dark by the time we left the Chen’s Chinese Restaurant in Long Beach. We still had three stops to make, but between buildings on the ridge I saw that we hadn’t missed the afterglow of the sunset so we zipped down the beach approach where the sky was the color of ripe watermelon along the horizon and the sea was that icy blue it gets just before it disappears into the dark. Lights from three fishing boats twinkled like jewels against the velvet sea and the evening star hung above and to the south.

The day was warm and the evening remained so. I left Amy listening to Willie Nelson on the radio and got out to walk the dog across the warm sand. It did not feel like an Autumn Sunday. It seemed that Summer, who was so long in arriving, wanted to say “sorry” with the gift of a beautiful day meant, as my mother would say, to be tucked away in our memories. Far down the beach I could see a bonfire indicating that there were others as reluctant as we to let go of such a beautiful day. I was sorry that my mother missed this sight. It is exactly the sort of thing she loves and for which I hope she works hard to see again.

When we pulled into the barn at home Amy’s breath caught, “Look at the stars!” Here on the Long Beach Peninsula, so far from large cities and their ambient light, a clear night means a starry night the likes of which we don’t get even in Gig Harbor. On cue Willie swung into “Starry, Starry Night.”