Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last night, the heat broke for a moment and the sky turned pink. My daughter and I ran outside to see what we could see. There was lightning over the mountains, rain falling in dark, smudgy streaks and, miracle of miracles, a rainbow. On the green hill just over the freeway, the big white building that is part of a cemetery shone like a shell in the last of the sunlight.

We saw a man with a dachshund on a leash and he stopped talking on his cell phone to admire the sky with us.

"I was just telling my friend about what a beautiful night this is," he said, gesturing to his phone.

"It is, it is," my daughter shrieked. "It's the most beautiful, wonderful, best night..."

She did a couple of twirls for emphasis and because she was, after all, wearing a leotard and floaty ballet skirt.

We saw our well-groomed neighbor and his well-groomed dog out for their evening walk. Both man and dog seemed relaxed and happy. We exchanged our mutual happiness with the cool evening, with the pink sky. We exchanged our shock at the recent heat and our theories of inevitability. A cool summer = a warm fall.

My daughter waved to our neighbors across the street who sat at their dining table and their own daughter rushed outside to shout hello.

We ran into our house to where my son sat in the darkened office and raced a computer car on a computer track.

"Come outside," we begged.

"In a minute," he said, waving us away, his eyes wide and fixed on the screen.

"There's a rainbow," we said.

Very begrudgingly he stood up and walked outside and looked up. He smiled his biggest smile.
"Wow," he said. "That IS beautiful."

And before we could agree, he ran back inside to the dark and the computer and the racetrack.

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