I heard their sound before I saw them. Honking above, heralding the dusk. They come before the sunset now. I sat in my office and listened to the familiar noises, the music of the evening. It was time to head home. As I exited the building, the evening’s chill permeated the air. This time of year holds on to me. It is the countdown to the winter solstice. The days are shorter, and then they lengthen. Seems to go faster and faster around the sun. Every sunset is unique. For some it is just that part of the day that passes as does the rest of the day. I turned to a student, waiting for his ride, and we looked out at the sky and I say to him “the sky is awesome tonight….did you do that?”. He and the girl he stands with chuckle. I smile and said “Well done!”. We wish one another a good night. Who says you can’t have a conversation with a teenager?
The year is nearly done, once again. I travel home slowly via a couple of stops at the market, the cleaners and my favorite, the library. The library that I visit is in the next town of Fairhaven, Massachusetts. It is a beautiful piece of architecture built by the town’s benefactor, Henry Huttleston Rogers to honor the memory of his daughter. It is called the Millicent Library for a child that died young, at age 17. It is a mesmerizing memorial with a large stained glass window that has an image of a young woman, Millie’s face gazing down on the quiet street, opposite the town hall, another structure built by H.H. Rogers. Inside is filled with rooms of books and niches and architecture that brings a person back to the turn of the 20th century. It is comforting and warm, filled tonight with light and holiday decor. A step back in time. I speak to the librarian, in quiet tones, of course. I take a couple of books along with me, as I never leave empty handed. I ride through the now almost darkened streets, and the street lamps’ shadows, play with the remaining light. I feel content, in a quiet happy way. I take the local route, rather than the highway. As I turn toward New Bedford, I notice that the bridge that connects Fairhaven and New Bedford is closed to car traffic. It is open for only the boats to pass next to the bridge as it turns sideways. Many people will grumble and in fact, turn their cars around, not to be stuck at the bridge. I love this moment as I sit in the car, engine off, facing west, first in line, watching the last slivers of light in the distance. The cell phone remains on silent, and in my bag. I take in the twinkling lights of the fishing boats as they traverse from inner harbor toward the outer part, past the bridge and those that travel back through toward the docks for the night. Just a few sounds of the splashing of the water against the sides of the boats. It is done like dancers moving across the stage, some to the right, others to the left, the lights twinkling off the decks and masts. No music but one can sense the harmony. My breath is even and relaxed. I never feel forced or rushed when I sit in this place, just joyful for a moment of nature’s cinematography.
Home is on the other side of the bridge, a short distance away. I know that when I get there and park in the underground garage, the rest of the evening will come into play. Lots to do, always lots to do. I make my way to our garage space. We have a double space, nose to tail of our cars and depending on who gets home first, a little longer maneuver which sometimes is a challenge, but not so much tonight. I unpack my car with my work bags and other belongings and head to the elevator for the ride upstairs. I hear the sound of another car entering. I smile. I know that guy. He gets out of the car with his bags and walks toward me. I will have company in the elevator. Night begins again.
Enjoy the week ahead. Happy Monday.