Word of the Week: Gloaming

gloaming  /n./  the period between afternoon and nighttime.  dusk.  twilight.  eve.  eventide.  nightfall.

gloaming  /n./  1.  As I write this post, the gloaming is just beginning here in Michigan.  The kids are downstairs practicing a play they are going to put on after dinner, our version of dinner theatre.  We are having a big celebratory dinner tonight, steaks on the grill and decorations on the table, a sure sign that we have entered into the "gloaming" of our vacation, the final days before we head for home.  David will arrive on Wednesday and then we'll head for Canada and a trip to Niagara Falls.  The kids are starting to panic just slightly at the dwindling days, protesting that I said we'd be here a month.  I assure them that we have been...it will be just one day over a month when we will arrive back in Arizona.  The fastest month of our lives.

gloaming  /n./  2.  This past week we went to a band concert one night after dinner and enjoyed the gloaming accompanied by Sousa.  The kids layed in the grass even though we brought chairs and played on a nearby playground.  The highlight for me was at the end, when we all stood and sang "America, the Beautiful" and the "Star Spangled Banner" just as the sun was setting and using its last rays to light up the flag.



gloaming  /n./  3.    On Tuesday night we had dinner over at Gary and Sara's house.  At the end of the night we had smores, melting the marshmellows over the firepit in their backyard, and sat around the fire in the gathering gloaming and talked.  David was sorely missed.  The kids, who were by now best-of-friends, made up a game of some kind on their hammock and were shrieking with laughter until Gary thought the neighbors might mind.  


gloaming  /n./  4.  We spent the end of the week in Paradise, MI, and left for the Upper Peninsula late on Thursday afternoon.  As I drove up into the wilderness, the quiet gloaming was just beautiful with the sun setting after a bit of rain and a little fog.  I felt completely alone on the road and it was one of those perfect, wistful moments after a fresh rain has stopped and the earth is quiet and damp.  It felt like a dream and I took this picture as I drove my way to the northern end of the peninsula.


gloaming  /n./  5.  I took the kids to see Tahquamenon Falls this week, and spent Friday's gloaming walking the boardwalk to the lower falls.    You just cannot imagine the profusion of nature, the thunder of the water, and the thumping in my heart as I watched my children walk through the "deep woods" (as I called it) with their friends.  The gloaming lasts forever in the Michigan summer and I have loved every one of them, though this one was one of my favorites.


gloaming  /n./  6.  On our way home from Paradise, we stopped just outside of St. Ignace on a beach that has become one of our favorites.  It was the end of the day, the end of the week, and one of the most perfect gloamings of my whole life.  The kids changed into their swimsuits in the car and ran through the waves, which were rolling and high.  The wind was blowing hard and they ran and jumped over the crashing waves again and again, racing the setting sun.  Ethan got out after a bit and climbed on my lap wrapped in his towel, shaking with cold and nestling into me.   I told myself to remember this moment forever.  Ethan's wet hair, the damp towel, the copper bodies of my other three children silhouetted in the sunset, the sounds of the grass blowing behind me and the waves crashing in front of me, as my children shrieked their joy.  They swam until the sun went below the horizon and we ran together for the car.  The kids stripped along the side of the road and changed into their pajamas, flushed and shivery at the same time.  As I turned on the heater and pulled onto the darkening highway, I was overwhelmed by the magic of my life.