As darkness falls

Oct 25, 2009

I read last week in the NYTimes that Colum McCann, author of This Side of Brightness (I blogged about how much I enjoyed that novel here), has a new novel out, and it’s a finalist for the National Book Award. So, I snapped up a copy of Let the Great World Spin, and I’ve been reading it this weekend.

Today, after morning rains, afternoon pumpkin carving and a roasted chicken dinner, I set about cleaning the kitchen while Erin tried to coax Anna and Malia to eat the delicious stuffing she’d prepared for the meal. I’d shut off all the lights before dinner, and there were candles on the table. Evening was coming on.

In the groove, washing dishes almost contemplatively, I realized I was in a darkening home, and I felt a calm I’d not encountered since my time in Vanuatu 10 years ago. Those years on Paama Island, I lived by the cycles of the sun, earth and moon, rising early, living outside in the elements and brushed by vegetation and wind and sea, sleeping soon after darkness fell.

I’m struggling these days to return to a healthy balance, and today was a good day in which I put my work worries and conference planning aside to live a little more slowly, more sanely. And so I enjoyed the touch of the slippery insides of the pumpkins, basked in the sight of my beautiful wife and daughters, and melted in the peace of twilight.

Anton Zuiker

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