Midafternoon in late autumn can grow dark enough to warrant lamplight. If it is not yet time to leave the office and go home, a gentle, wistful mood is possible.
It is not unlike the feeling when you were much younger and your parents were not yet home from work and there was nothing to be done to hurry supper along. The hour felt determined to last as long as it could.
Or you were walking home from school, classes and club meetings behind you, and you looked up into the random trees lining the sidewalk. You walked past one house and then another, each front door closed, each window shade drawn. If there were no cars heading down the street, the quiet and the space around you reinforced a reflective turn of mind.
It is what happened later in your life when you went on retreat and you had gotten to the second or third day. The novelty of a space away from your everyday routines had begun gently to wane. You were back to being yourself, just without the regular things to do.
Who had any thought for that person who was just yourself? If you were not doing something for someone, what could you count on in the way of attention?
I approach a birthday in two days. It is easier to stay with questions like that at this time in my life. Nowadays I suspect that the answers are not anywhere as dire as I once feared they might be.
I have a great weekend before me.