August 21, 2009
Yesterday evening I sat out on my friends Lee and Dick’s screened porch drinking bourbon and watching the summer rain on their lake. The rain fell at a long slant on the water for about half a glass, then slowly dissipated as the clouds withdrew their touch.
At that point a single verdant cypress on the far shore was unexpectedly spotlighted by a shaft of sunlight coming through a hole in the clouds. A car throbbing with hip hop music passed on the distant road. As the hole slowly closed, but not completely, the world was saturated with a new, diffused, golden-green light, dazzling, wet and soft, that permeated even the porch. There must have been a hundred different shades of green. An array of filters was imposed on the scene in quick succession. The surface of the lake quivered under an aimless, skittering breeze. It was like being on acid.
“Light in August,” Lee said, summoning one of the reasons that, despite my love for New York and the wider world, I find it hard to be gone from Mississippi for long.