Friday, November 15, 2013

November 14

By the time I got home from class it was early evening, which these days is very early indeed: dusk is sneaking up well before five. I turned on some lights and made a cup of tea and sat down to finish my marking. It's not my favourite thing to do, but it is engrossing, and at some point (an hour later?) I looked up to realize my tea was cold and the sky was on the verge of nighttime's navy blue.

I got up to close the blinds. The maple tree in front of my window acts as an awning from late April to October, shielding me from the sun at midday and my neighbours at midnight, but it lost the last of its leaves earlier this week, and I knew that my yellow windows would be shining like a beacon through its bare branches. I am fascinated by the slices of life I catch through my neighbours' windows – the flicker of the late-night TV, the crowded living room and steamy windows of a holiday party – but am reluctant to share the same slices of my life with them. I miss the tree's reassuring green canopy during the winter months.

But last night, a surprise: hanging there in the space between the two apartment buildings across the street was the moon. Low in the eastern sky, almost full, it glowed chalky white. The sky was dark blue, banded with cotton-candy clouds; the west-facing balconies across from me reflected an vibrant pink sunset.

Standing at the window, I watched the moon's barely perceptible progress for a little while; contemplated taking a photo then decided not to. Sometimes it's better to rely on the mind's eye. I watched and waited. It didn't take long. There it was, and then it was gone: within five minutes the moon had disappeared behind a building. An urban eclipse.

I closed the blinds and went back to my desk and picked up my pen. I carried on.

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