by Lisa

It’s nighttime.  A month ago, right now was evening.

My black kitchen window bothers me, even though I moved the trash cans from beneath it so that the raccoons can’t look in at us and freak out the cat in a big, big way.

Our weather has been downright heavenly, as though San Diego floated in on the wind and landed right on top of this town.  Last summer, we baked.  This summer, we basked and biked and played and left the windows wide open.  The flowers on the front porch did not die, even though I did not water and dared them to wither.  They rallied.  We still have flowers. So, it’s been a good summer.  Long, middling-hot days and nights cool enough to require real blankets on the beds.  Now, a little cooler, a little wetter, but still so nice.

What’s not nice is the dark.

The extra hours of Day we steal all summer long are opportunities for being out and about with out a coat, to throw the frisbee with the hole in it and bounce on the trampoline which fortunately has no hole.  My brain soaks in these hours of happiness and tries to store them for winter, like field mice with seeds.

I had a book about a mouse who wasted his days looking at the sky and rainbows and flowers while the industrious field mice hoarded grain in their burrows.  He, in the end, fed their souls with his stories of color and light.

My family could not have known when I was very small that I hated the cold and dark and the leafless trees so very badly.  That book helped, and I can still smell its pages, musty from being stored in the basement between my time and my aunt’s, not quite a generation.

My bloom-hoarding goes on in the still-warm days of late summer and early fall, for as long as nature allows.  Then I turn inward, and wait for something to bloom again.  We always have enough grain, but enough flowers?