Scene setter: A Friday afternoon a few weeks ago, after a hot day out and about on the town. Alexa and I return home. I’m shuffling along with too many bags in my hands and too much sweat on my brows, eager to take refuge in our cool apartment. Yet, there’s a slight breeze winding its way through the nooks and crannies of our Ewok Village, so nicknamed because of the complex’s meandering staircases and vegetation-planked buildings.
And, all of a sudden, it’s too beautiful to go inside just yet.
There is a small pail of sidewalk chalk in one of my shopping bags. Thank you, Target dollar bin.
It’s been two weeks, and the chalk greeting is still there. Thank you, Southern California, for the consistently dry and warm-but-not-too-warm weather.
Alexa’s legs are getting longer and leaner and meaner every day. Seriously, she is responsible for more than a few bruises on my legs and arms. Kicking, climbing. She thinks these things are a game. My body is not so sure it’s an obstacle course.
So I grab her and kiss those chubby little thighs. It won’t be long till the last of that baby fat melts away and she becomes Not a Baby. Thank you for the temporary consolation, baby legs.
We draw on the sidewalk and I chase her up and down the Ewok Village stairs. We venture a little further from our door when we find it: Magic Hour.
That short part of the day when everything is beautiful. The sun shines through the leaves, creating a pool of light so ethereal it makes me gasp with awe at the images in my viewfinder. This light could literally shine a turd.
Like a fairytale come true.
Not that there are any turds in our fairytales, but you catch my drift.
Isn’t it strange how we can curse the sun so easily one second (when it’s burning our eyes out and making the tops of our heads sweat and frying our skin in the passenger seat) and yet. And yet there’s this. The magic hour, when it’s clear that we owe everything to the sun. Without it, the planets wouldn’t exist. The Ewok Village wouldn’t exist. We wouldn’t exist.
Thank you, sun, for being you.*
*But could you turn it down a notch between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.? Kthanksbye. Love, everyone who lives on Earth