Days of soft, sheeting rain dwindled in the night.
Morning mist dampened the curtains, still dismal, so she pressed her face into the pillow and slept again.
The kettle steamed as she sat down to a late breakfast, late enough for lunch. Outside, the sun shone dazzlingly bright. It cut through the layers of cherry leaves shading the house.
She turned off the stove and put on her shoes.
No wind. Heat kindled on her skin where the sunlight fell. As intense as it was, it did not sink deep enough to burn off the damp.
Crickets jumped though the grass at her feet. They were everywhere. Still singing. Night and day singing. Could they feel the first frost coming?
Weeds bent in her garden in every direction. Seeds lined the stems. Next year's work by the thousands. Yet, a few of the flowers pushed into the September air with new buds. She knelt by the Marigolds and tickled the petals to make them dance.
She squinted. The sun was wrong. The angles too hot. In summer, the world glowed with clear colors and short shadows. Now, the noon sun hung tilted in the sky.
She closed her eyes and drank the straining light like the tired plants.
Then, she let go. The door closed again behind her, and the shadows felt right.
(A little Monday fun: can you find yourself a little friend in one of the Marigolds? Hint: It has 8 legs.)