Today was an HD day. The sun was out, the humidity low, and only a slight breeze was present. Everything was in high definition.
The cars I passed on the road seemed to have an outline of light around them. Each reflected brilliant points of light, some almost too strong to look at. Even the wheels were clearly defined as they rolled along.
The electric wires that stretched from pole to pole were dotted and dashed with shiny lines as the wires reflected the sun’s piercing light. Each and every brown pebble in our aggregate driveway was shining like a tiny flashlight, welcoming me home.
As I looked at the trees, it seemed I could see each leaf individually. The same was true for the blades of grass in the lawn. The flowers and buds on our knockout roses glowed like candle flames, pointing to the sky. Even in the shade of our sun-dappled back yard, the lines along the edges of the shadows were knife- sharp and clear.
Interestingly, the local paper has an article about why we love fall, and included is a section about the shift of light this time of year. Lines from William Falkner’s A Light in August were referred to: “In August in Mississippi there’s a few days somewhere about the middle of the month when suddenly there’s a foretaste of fall, it’s cool, there’s a lambence, a soft, luminous quality to the light as though it came not from just today but from the back of the old classic times….It lasts just for a day or two, then it’s gone.”
The article also quoted Keith Miles, a local amateur photographer: “There is a point, usually in mid- to late August, when I can see the quality of light begin to change. It heralds the beginning of autumn for me.”
I have seen this shimmering, autumn-forecasting light in years past, and felt the slight cool, crispness in the air that says it is time to move on past summer. But today was not like that. Perhaps today the light may have been the last full light of summer. And when I thought of the impending hurricane winds on the gulf and the smoky fires in the west, I tried my best to stop and notice, to fully take in the still, sharp, HD portrait of this corner where I live.