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An Evening Under the Stars

     Come with me. Grab a cup of coffee or hot tea. Dusk is setting in, the air is cooling down and the patio chairs await.  My coffee was brewed with a stick of cinnamon, a little sweetness for the evening under the stars. Do you take sugar in your tea?

     I'll take this chair; put that one wherever you feel comfortable. Oh, look! A dove just landed at the edge of the pool, and here comes another. Shhh… They're lapping their beaks into the water; they can barely reach the surface of the pool water; they're stepping carefully to the left and trying another spot. Maybe they can reach the water better from there.

     Oops! I scraped my chair when I reached for my coffee. They're flying off—so gracefully. Okay, we can chat a little now. The sky is turning pale pink with a little gray, some orange at the edges. The still-white moon, not quite full, is hovering in the sky in front of us.

     How is your tea? My coffee's steaming. Is your tea too hot? Oh! Here come the doves again. They come quite often in these late days of summer. Looks like they're taking another try for refreshment from the pool waters. They bob their gray heads up and down, then step from side to side, oblivious to our presence in the patio chairs.

     Look at the sky! It's glorious in its pink and orange colors. How was your week? Did you see your oldest son? Did you go to that movie you said you wanted to see? What movie was it? I forgot what you told me.

     The doves are still here. As long as we don't move, they'll probably stay—or until they've finished refreshing themselves. Yes, I had a good week. Not so busy, a little boring at times but better boring than frantic. Paul still keeps me jumping and Christy's always a big help after she gets home from work. I'm so glad she moved down here.

     The doves have left. The sky is darkening. The white moon is turning a pale yellow and rising higher in the sky. Ah—do you hear the crickets? I love their "crick crick crick" in the evenings. If you walk around the pool near the vines and rose bushes you can hear them go silent as you pass and start up again when you've walked a few steps away. I've never seen them to tell them thank you.

     Darkness. The stars are twinkling—the few we can see in this city neighborhood, but they're there. You can see more of them if you squint a little. The moon is deep yellow now, almost a full circle. If you look closely you can make out Mr. Moon's face—chubby cheeks tonight.

     The neighbors on the other side of the fence are chatting quietly. Hear them laugh and chuckle. Wonder what was funny? A plane hums overhead. So many evening noises: crickets, people laughing in the distance, someone's music playing, a dog barking energetically.

     It's gone quiet. Sitting in the silence of the evening in the darkness, the only lights the faint stars above and the yellow moon—and the lights of the garden critters' solar eyes on the other side of the pool. The plane is gone; the dog is—sleeping? The crickets have gone to bed and the neighbors have gone inside.

     Life on planet earth in the backyard with a friend. Silence. Stars. A fat yellow moon with chubby cheeks. An evening under the stars. Peace.

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