very pale aqua above.
watercolor strata descending toward the horizon, greenish and gold and copper and rose, and then at the horizon a bright shade of turquoise that creeps up as if it were coming closer and closer, a storm of blue.
back behind me the sky is orange, golden—tangerine clouds on bronze. then the sky overhead turns dusty lavender, very pale, and the orange drains out of the west and the blue overtakes the sky.
a grayness creeps over the landscape, even close around me, which paradoxically causes the greenest plants to blaze greener for a few minutes. the birds call out a few last times just as the shadow of the world races down our hill. it’s sudden like that, like turning off a lamp or blowing out a candle or drawing the drapes. there is a bird that keeps chattering, and it doesn’t want to stop. it tries different tones and rhythms as if one of them’s got to work. But apparently not today, it’s going to bed alone again.
then I fold the big beige towel (on which I have bathed) neatly, attempting to fold the drenched parts to the outside, and put on my underwear, shirt and socks, lotion on my face and arms.
move the wet washcloths from the tailgate and drape them over water jugs or something else that won’t mind, and close the back window. I unfurl my sleeping bag and slip into it, zip it up. if it might get cold – or already is – I spread the tattered army blanket or the purple down throw over myself, or both. now it’s dark out, only the white primroses like patches of snow on the gray earth. the sky is dark blue, and if there are any clouds they are slate gray.
the roofs of the yurpee and the tent are silhouettes against the northwestern horizon, which still holds a little gold, the color of a hawk’s eyes.
that bird is still calling.
if I want to read or write I attach a little l.e.d. lamp to the battery and turn it on – enough light to read by and it will last a week if I am careful. Eventually, I push the button to turn it off and slide deeper into the bag, say my prayers. Sometimes I lie awake thinking about the design of the straw bale or what I didn’t do today, but usually I go right to sleep.
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