This morning when I glanced out my window and into the alleyway that comprises my "view," I noticed that the springtime sun is coming in at a different angle now and at a greater intensity, and that it is briefly (oh so briefly) piercing the alley's shadows and filling it with sparkle and brightness and reflected light. It's spring, a time of tendrils and tenderness. And fierce determination, too, as shoots and buds burst forth, so vital and insistent and extraordinarily beautiful in their desire to capture this new sunlight and turn it into nourishment.
I decide to wander out into the day, greedy for a little more of that light and a rare cup of coffee from the kiosk down the hill. I pass a park which is exploding with animated life. All around me everything and everybody is reaching up towards the sun. People of all sorts are peeling off their layers and lying on their backs with their faces tilted upwards, unleashed dogs and tottering babies are running about, plants and flowers and trees, everything is uplifted and stretching towards the sky and drinking in sun's warm honey-hug. Such splendidness!
When I arrive back home after a brief stop at the farmers' market along the way, I decide to pay homage to the springtime sun with a small snack. At the market I found tender fava tendrils to sauté gently in olive oil with just a touch of garlic and salt and a scattering of pine nuts. I pile them up on slices of baguette that have been toasted and spread with goat's cheese and a little bit of lemon. This only fills half my plate so I add handful of ripe strawberries that have been sliced and tossed with a touch of honey and an even smaller pinch of fresh rosemary.
I open my alley-view window up wide and sit on the sill with my plate in my lap, enjoying my sunfood: Sweet fava greens, tangy rich goat's cheese, the spike of sour lemon and the crunch of baguette. The strawberries glisten like rubies and taste like nothing else on this planet. I sloppily slurp up their sweet nectar, staining the front of my white cotton shirt with no regrets.
The sunbeams of the morning are gone now but the alley still shimmers a bit with their leftover light. The air is cooling and in tiny increments, the world around me starts to contract slightly, hunkering in to preserve the warmth of the day. This, too, is a beautiful moment, this time of decrease and dimming and deepening coolness. A night bird begins his sundown song and I swear I can feel the slight tick-tock-tick of the day becoming the night, the wheel's slow turning beneath me. So nice. I finish my snack, brush the crumbs onto the scrubby alleyway-foliage below, and climb back into my apartment, leaving the window open for another precious minute as the night bird finishes his goodnight song.
(Image: Dana Velden)