Sunday Evening

Like a dusty, ill-lit room, Sunday was drab. The sky wasn't dark, angry and ominous; it was merely gray, dull and lifeless. Mother Nature at her most uninspiring.

But late in the afternoon, the clouds moved on and sunshine filled the void. The subdued tones of the overcast day turned dazzling and bright. Cuddles, our cat, awoke from her daylong nap and gave herself over to her predatory instincts. Crouched on the floor she stared, waiting for a circle of reflected sunlight to dance across the wall. When one did, she gave chase, sometimes pouncing on it but never capturing it.

Across the street, Patty came out to protect her sidewalk from the encroaching lawn. She sat on the ground and used a small spade to remove the offending vegetation, which she then dropped into a large paper sack. Finished one spot, she got up, took a few steps down the walk, sat down again and trimmed some more.

A young family walked by. The father, in a gray sweatshirt, denim shorts and a baseball cap, pushed their child in a stroller. The mother's black exercise outfit matched the frames of her glasses, and her blond hair was in a bun; a cool librarian about to set out on a five-mile run, except she was tethered to a fluffy, dainty, white-and-brown, dog with lots of swank.

A boy, a second-grader maybe, went down the street on his bicycle. He wore a T-shirt. Even with the sun, the air was cool, but the boy had his youth to keep him warm. And he was so very careful on his bike. Perhaps he sensed his parents were watching.

John and Sandy, our next-door neighbors, took their nightly walk around the block. And a few minutes later, a well-preserved forty-five-year-old convertible cruised the street. The engine was loud, the music was louder and the sun reflecting off the waxed hood was blinding.

The shadows lengthened and daylight faded, but not before a glorious golden glow filled the sky.

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