After de-slugging the pepper patch on Saturday evening, My Beloved and I sat on our tiny patio (the lottery win I'm planning for this Friday will eliminate the "tiny" in that phrase) and watched the evening melt into dusk.
Everything seems to turn grayish-purple in the blue half-light of dusk - skin, grass, trees, fences. It's an ethereal and melancholic sort of time, I find. A time for fairies and gnomes and things hiding just out of sight.
And yes, I'm aware that almost every time is somehow a melancholic time for me. Dawn, noon, dusk, midnight - I can usually find a little melancholy in each of them if I look hard enough.
But you don't have to look hard at dusk. It's there in the deepening shadows, the blue pall, and the impossible stillness.
And in that half-light, as I stared out at the freshly watered lawn, I remembered a hazy, long-ago conversation My Beloved and I had back when we believed we would, I could, have children. He didn't want too many gardens. He wanted lawn - space to play with his children on the grass in our backyard. I agreed, picturing a chubby-legged toddler in a sun bonnet feeling grass on her toes for the first time.
The lawn still has space. Ample. There are gardens too, like our slug-ridden pepper patch. But nothing more.
So as my eyes fought against the dark on Saturday night, my mind drew a tousle-headed boy running in an arc across the lawn towards my chair, his arms thrown open in that glorious way that boys do when they're let loose on a patch of grass in the summer. He ran towards me, his mouth stretched into a crazy, wide open smile - and then he slipped quietly away into the shadows. Just before he reached me.
My mind will always be drawing pictures of the boy, I guess.
I know I'll see him no matter where I go, but I often wonder if a different place might hurt less. He was expected here. This house is missing him. I see where he should have been. I remember the plans I had and the pictures I drew when he was wriggling and kicking inside me.
Dusk falls everywhere. But it falls hard here.