The early evening light that filters through my windows have a soft blue hue. When I step outdoors and begin my walk, the light is a warm orange. This breeze that grazes my skin is the breath of summer. Warm and dry. Already the air is warm and dry. The wind ruffles the Texas plains, swirling dirt and dust from the numerous highway construction sites. A jungle of overpasses and concrete decks tower into the azure sky. On Friday the sky wore a cloak of Mediterranean blue as if the Aegean Sea was just over the crest.
The bloated clouds that drift above the rooftops arrest my attention. Puffy ships casting their shadows. By the time I reach the sidewalk, they had already sailed past. The breeze picks up speed, and I feel I could walk for miles and miles.
A sentry of Magnolia trees line the entrance to the gated community in which I call home. A couple days ago their fragrance smelled of sweetness accented with verbena. Yesterday it smelled of lemons. The milky white petals spread their perfume like welcoming kisses.
Just when spring is about to pivot into summer, the Texas heat escalates. But when the sun starts to sink over the horizon, the air is tempered and you can step out onto your patio, balcony or terrace and inhale the faint traces of spring.
This chard and mustard green gratin is an earthy, satisfying dish for a light evening meal. Set your dinner table outdoors. Serve a bottle of chilled rosé and enjoy the serenity.
All images © 2014 Sriprae P. McDonald