June 26th, 2005



On a summer evening, when the sky is clear and pure, like glass, like an endless ocean of blue, and the sun is lowering, shining fierce, shining hard, stretching long shadows, sharp shadows, what I want to do is capture the light.

I want to share it, show and tell the sun. I want to tell you how driving through these rolling hills, this green big-sky country, this summer, makes me feel. I look hard at everything, I note things down in my mental notepad, I try to polaroid through my eyes. Snap! Snap! The air is crisp, magnifying everything. The leaves are still, they glint and shimmer. The moon rises, a solid disc. A hot air balloon eclipses the sun, a black-stamped silhouette. Karin waves madly through the car window but they don't stop, they don't see; they sail away, gliding on the light. All the wavy grasses along the edges of the roads are outlined in light. Each one made special by that glowing golden halo. A dove startles from the field beside us and races up beside the car for a moment, then drops quickly behind. We speed through the light. I can't capture it, no matter how fast I go, or how hard I try.

We came home to a lawn so overgrown with clover blossoms that it looked as if it were carpeted with snow. Everyone else has emerald, beveled, pedicured ('cause you want to walk on them barefoot) lawns. Ours is a mess of clover and tiny yellow meadow blooms. A sea of mini fluffballs. I emptied the shaggy, weedy-looking overblown spring flowers from the pots in the front garden, replacing them with a jolt of color: fuchsia and mauve and magenta and PINK pelargoniums and begonias and New Guinea impatiens. Years ago, placing 4 bright, hot pink, not quite matching flowers together like that would have made me cringe. Now, it makes me joyful.

Karin: --pointing at the Sprite bottle-- Mamma, jag vill ha sprit!**
Liz: --boggles for a second, collapses with laughter-- You mean SPRITE?!

Interesting Reading: The Colour of Words

*Maori proverb
**"Mama, I want booze!" The word for hard liquor in Swedish is sprit, pronounced "spreet" and from the same root as our English word spirit. She was reading, though!