The Light Changed Today


All day today, from the moment I opened my eyes I noticed that the light has changed around the house.

The sun, cantaloupe orange, in that fake summer way poured over me as I lay in bed. The day would be filled with chores and making arrangements.

I rolled out of bed to look for a cup of chai and to organize myself. I knew that the boys, my son and his friend would sleep in, so I took advantage of the quiet. Even the dog seemed to cooperate.

I sat at the dining room table, peering into the street and noticed that the morning shadows were faint. Hummingbirds swooped around looking for little bugs and flowers to assault. The two black crows that the neighbor insists on feeding walked around like they owned the joint.

And the light was peculiar.

The rear door was left open to cause a cross breeze that today actually felt a little nippy. I haven’t worn real shoes in about two and a half years…at least not outside of church. Today I was happy to have my flip-flops protect me from the cold hardwood. The chimes that hang in the back yard dinged periodically, a pitch of G major.

I was reminded to water some potted plants and then felt guilty when I decided to let two of them go without. The drought has frightened me into sacrificing plants. Those two plants used to be three plants, but the dog ate one. She ate the one on this side of the pool fence. She looks longingly toward the other two. While they are safe from her behind the gate, they fall prey to the sun and the city water meter.

Lunch for three? They requested tacos made from the left over carnitas served last night. The tacos were washed down with a thick strawberry banana smoothy. Then the traditional, “thanks mom,” as he cleared his plate.

They retreated up stairs to pack clothes. Mom, should I take all my shirts? Mom, I’m looking for my shoe inserts. Mom, can you call the dog?

That dog, the one I about had a conniption over when she landed uninvited into my home is going to miss her dad. Eventually, he dropped her off at the boarding place her vet runs, so we can drop him off at the boarding place the Jesuits run in Santa Clara.

As he drove away with the pooch, I looked out the window to see the trees in the front yard gently swaying, and the shadows, faint still, leaning the other way. They lean into tomorrow when we we will rise early to make his move in time, and as easy as possible. We will spend Saturday together, then we will attend mass after which (we have been notice) we must say our goodbyes.

And the light will will change again when we return home to a play with a dog we didn’t want and and a quiet house serenaded by chimes in the key of G.

Thanks for being my friends.


About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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2 Responses to The Light Changed Today

  1. Nancy Baldwin says:

    Love your writing. Unfortunately, my stories always start “It was a dark and stormy night…”.
    Your son will always love you. Your home will feel vacant for a while. He will gladden you with his presence periodically. You will go visit him now and then to make sure he’s still healthy and happy (Skype helps). And for a few years, you’ll send money (reality check). Eventually, he’ll find his niche in life and a nice girl and settle down (hopefully in the vicinity, or at least in a nice place to visit) and turn in to a grown man (with a job) (that has a salary). And by then, my friend, you will be worrying that he can make his mortgage payment and that his company will stay in business and that we won’t be in a war with (fill in the blank). And then there will be grandbabies and in-laws and complicated holidays (I’ve found that it’s best just to invite everyone — in-laws, step-in-laws, shirt-tail relatives and honorary relatives of your kids’ spouses — that way you still get to see your kids on holidays). Oh, yeah, invite the niece’s and nephew’s significant others as well, just for kicks. (Aside — is there a term in Spanish that covers “shirt-tail relatives?” Our family example is my sister’s husband’s sister.) Anyway — it’s the start of a new journey in your life.

    My last bit of advice, which you already know as you have seen your daughter off to college — take a box of kleenex.


    • Caro says:

      Thank you… But I am lamenting the need to change the locks to the house…. Again. ;}. And the word is “Chusma.” At least that’s the word we use. Lol. Thanks for reading my post.


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