The morning sun, the evening sun


The morning sun talks about today. The evening sun talks about tomorrow.

I love the evening sun the best.

The morning light’s a wonder, and it’s fresh. And whiter than the evening light, and pristine cool. It floats up over the hedge, bundled with optimism and energy, rising, encouraging something meaningful from the day. Expectant with significance, the morning sun.

I love the morning light, it gets things done. It’s in a hurry but it’s a measured kind of hurry. Nothing frantic – yes there’s time but still, let’s go, let’s get on with it, I’m here now and we can do this.

Yes we can, says the Obaman early morning light.

The sun is over the hedge, the morning light is feeding the leaves of the lilac tree, and the lilies and the hollyhocks and the poppies. Let’s go poppies, up and at ‘em, the sun morning sun says. Get those flowers out. Let’s go hollyhocks, now’s the time to stretch.

The birds are singing, the body is showered and fed, there’s a cup of tea. The infinitively comforting ritual of the day’s first cup of tea makes anything seem possible. Anything.

But the evening light?

The evening light takes its time. No hurry, just heading over towards Sunday’s Well, heading down over the buildings and the hill and on over past Blarney and Banteer, on past Kanturk into Kerry. On over the ocean, westward into the bye bye bye.

Catch you later says the stately evening light. Catch you later.

The evening light is aristocratic and knowing. Think tuxedo, cocktail, a raffish air, a lived-in face (John Hurt?), but not unkind. Think slinky low slung gown, cigarette smoke wafting upward from a manicured hand, cigarette smoke flowing from between crimson lips. Helen Mirren, perhaps, in her mid-fifties.

Seen it all before, the evening light has; seen what the day has offered up to us on the altar of our strivings. All our efforts, done and dusted. Could have done better, today, perhaps, but you know what: that’s okay, says the evening light. You did fine, you did alright, boy. You’re grand.

Warmer and heartier, the evening light is. Softer with understanding, and gentler with the compassion we all need at the end of another day. The evening light has perspective.

The slanted shadow lengthens across the grass. It rises up the hedge, obscuring the shades of green.

We’re having pasta tonight. Now the sauce simmers away merrily on the hob. Happy out that sauce is. Purposeful. But no rush with pasta sauce.

I’ll have a beer. I love a pale ale when cooking, that’s my favourite. No rush at all.

Tomorrow is another day, the evening sun says in the distance.

I’m listening to Epic 45, Let Your Heart be the Map. It’s perfect evening music. I love Epic 45. All the mellow greatness of England seems to me bound up in those carefully structured, faintly quaint compositions.



There’s a robin hopping around on the grass. The robins come out in the early evening. They’re nesting in the hedge. I was weeding near the rhubarb this morning and the robin was all over it. Robins are fearless and bould.

The blackbirds will come out later, at the very dusk. I read somewhere that they are the last songbirds to appear because their eyes are the largest and so they can see more. They don’t sing this late, but I heard a starling’s chitterings a while ago when I was out having a last scove around.

I bought four hollyhocks from a German man in The Coal Quay Market. How could you resist the name alone? An old name, and the flower looks old too: foxglove old, marigold old.

The minute I saw the little flowerlings in the box on the ground, I was back in Île de Ré again, when we went there with Pad and Mags and Thomas five or six years ago. Down those dusty lanes at the back of houses, in the dead heat of a French summer’s day. Erect and stately and colourful and elegant. French.

They may not flower this year, the hollyhocks, the German man in the market said, but next year they’ll be spectacular.

I checked them earlier and they’re flying up. Not a bother on them. I think they will flower this year and take us back to France.

The lettuces and peas don’t need watering, we had showers today.

May is my favourite month. It’s everyone’s, I think. My father and my brother, Padraig, and Jim’s father, Johnny, said so, too the other day. I love May and September, Johnny said, the coming in and the going out. Great man, Johnny.

May is in the now.

Now the evening light is deepening to a distant crimson over Knocknaheeny, to everything between amber and auburn, to the memory of warmth, to the hope of homecoming, to the pleasure of food prepared and shared.

Now we are eating, there are stories, and smiles. Plates are filled and emptied. Glasses too.

Now, the dinner has been eaten, the wine has been drunk, the laughter has been laughed. Ciara is washing up, Anna is checking her phone, I’m writing words on a page.

Now the evening sun is gone and clouds have come in from the south. We won’t have stars tonight. I think a breeze is picking up.

Now it is dark. The solar lights come on in the garden: the morning light and the midday light and the evening light have left their parting gift.

Now I’ll read for a bit, maybe a short story.

Soon there will be sleep. And tomorrow.


I like this amateur video by Hajime Honda of The Stars in Spring, Epic45. Suitably flakey.