What's different at 4:35 p.m.

So, look: it's great beyond great to wake up at 8 a.m., ahead of one's alarm, and feel buoyant and ready to get out of bed, and to feel even more that way because the sun is already up and visible. It's an entirely greater thing, for me, to have had the sun still be shining--shining!--past 4:30 today. I know I'm not supposed to believe that the natural world is actually reflecting my feelings, but it's difficult, when they match up so closely, not to grin at a plane tree, or at the line of Canada geese falumphing into the river and honking to one another to get out of the ways of amateurishly steered punts, or the tiny leaves budding out of hedges everywhere. Or at the unbelievable sounds of the birds I can't quite find in the trees and shrubs on my way home from the busy town, in the sun, in the late afternoon. Not reflection, perhaps, but certainly fit accompaniment.

By the middle of the summer, I'll be taking pictures of daylight for you at 9:30 p.m. Maybe this will be the year when I'll actually stop needing sleep--when I can just stay up and see and read everything.