Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains,
a torch flung to the trees. (Faith Baldwin)
Daylight is precious and Duncan knows it. His urgency to venture outside upon my return home from work has reached a near-frantic pitch as the last of the color bleaches from the sky above the mountains and the lamps marking the paths through the park blink and hum to life. We rush through the parking lot and across the street where he can tromp through the leaves and hunt down the bunnies, barely visible in the blue hour, like stones rising up from the matted and cinnamon-scented grass. We have spent many sleepless summer nights in the park and are not strangers to the darkness, but these early Autumn evenings are difficult to adapt to.
The park is a dim place in the summer, with the thick canopy of elms, cottonwoods, maples and locust trees blotting out the glow from the lamp posts. But in Autumn, with the trees slipping into further nakedness each day, the golden circles around the lamps are more clearly visible, and somehow more comforting. We can see further into the night and each light is like a star in the darkness, glowing within the trees and reflecting off the blanket of leaves below. We spend a lot of time there, imagining the days are longer and taking as much comfort from the circles of light as we can in preparation for the long winter ahead.