Friday, January 22, 2010

Five O'Clock

I have pleasant associations with 5:00. I think that was when "The Early Show" came on TV when I was a kid, with its comfortable theme song, "The Syncopated Clock," followed by good old black and white movies of cowboys, detectives, and Hollywood sophisticates.

Five o'clock has a certain ideal look for me. It balances out as the long-shadowed late afternoon, good hour for flinging a Frisbee or running your dog, good time to head home, start supper, begin the elegant glide into evening. By the end of five's hour, on average, it's getting dark.

Which is why I was happy to see that 5:00 is coming back to twilight. Looking like 4:00 did a month ago.

Stepping out of the Arlington library just before Friday closing time, I saw a sky suffused with pink and soft blue. Walked northwest on the bike path till I got to the place where a brook runs at the bottom of a ravine. The brook held the rosy light in a long narrow strip. It was framed by snow and black trees. I wanted my camera, but it was at home, and there was no time to go back for it. So I stood and drank in the water-light for a good while.

Tomorrow I will go back to that spot with my camera at the same time and maybe the light will be like today's. Maybe not. But it will be precisely five o'clock.


Actually, it was 5:10, and the camera battery ran out after the first two pictures, which were too dark to commemorate the light anyway, which was not rosy, as expected, but kind of pewtery. Thus proving something about time not being the same as history. But five o'clock will always have that theme music of "The Syncopated Clock," and we (that is, we Earth in our January arc) are bringing 5:00 back to the early show, with longer and springier strides.

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