There is something about a quiet evening that soothes my soul. Day is done, the clock is winding down, it’s time for friends. The warming weather helps a lot; so does lingering daylight.
If you really let yourself go, you might just believe that for a moment, all is right with the world.
Of course, it isn’t, but we’ll deal with that tomorrow. Tonight let’s just go look at the colors in the sky, listen to the osprey on her nest, feel the residual warmth of the day, and just breathe. Let it all go.
Some things got done today but there’s still more to do tomorrow. But tonight, let’s just be with each other, however many that is. We’ll sit on the porch, toast our good fortune, talk, laugh, or weep a little remembering the ones no longer here. I’ll put my arm around you for a small measure of comfort.
Maybe we’ll make a fire. Maybe we’ll pour another glass of wine. Maybe we’ll nibble or nosh or listen to some music. Or maybe we’ll just sit quietly on the porch swing and watch the evening fall like a feather. OK; well, maybe we’re still working on the quiet part.
A pair of house wrens have made a nest in the hanging basket that presides over the porch. It was a lovely Christmas basket back in December, but now it’s well past its prime. But evidently the wrens found it nest-worthy—there are three tiny blue eggs hidden among the boughs—so the basket will remain where it is until the fledging are hatched and gone. That should only take a few weeks; in the meantime, it makes a good human story and a safe and secure avian home.
I am certainly not one you would call from a night owl, but I do enjoy a pleasant gloaming. That’s what my Scottish ancestors called the time in between day and night. It’s neither exactly twilight nor dusk, although both those names come close. Gloaming is subtly different because the farther north one goes, the longer the interim between daylight and darkness—at least during the summer months. (In winter, there just isn’t time for any roamin’ in the gloamin’ because as soon as the sun dips below the horizon—probably around four o’clock in the afternoon—you want to be indoors and in front of the fire or, even better, under the covers!)
But now, here in this pleasant clime, evenings are like a promise kept. They are to be savored. Put your work aside for a moment, put away your phone, find a comfortable place and a good friend and watch what happens when day is finally done and the busy world is hushed. You’ll be surprised about how the light lingers and glows, about how softly falls the night. And if you’re really lucky, maybe a friend will stroll by and stop for a quick chat; maybe you’ll smell the heat rising up from the earth or hear the chorus of peepers out by the pond; maybe you’ll take your wife’s hand and feel its warmth against your skin.
And if you’re really, really lucky, you’ll whisper to her, “Happy birthday, Honey!”
I’ll be right back.
Jamie Kirkpatrick is a writer and photographer who lives in Chestertown. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Washington College Alumni Magazine, and American Cowboy Magazine. Two collections of his essays (“Musing Right Along” and “I’ll Be Right Back”) are available on Amazon. Jamie’s website is www.musingjamie.com.