There’s a special glow to the late afternoon light, when the day begins to fade away. It’s as though, after all those hours, the day needs to sit down with a cup of tea and put its feet up. You can almost feel it relaxing as it winds down towards night. It will soon be time to settle down inside, to write another chapter, dream another dream. I love walking in the light of the fading afternoon. It reminds me of when I was a child and would play outside until it began to get dark. If I were alone I would make up stories, play games, run around on the playground like an errant knight. Never the lady, that was boring.
Ah, those lazy afternoons. The soft light dappling through the trees, the fresh air stinging my cheeks and, upstairs, my grandmother waiting with hot chocolate and cake. Riding my bike all around the neighbourhood and pretending it was a horse. I think a lot as I walk. Thanks to headphones, I can run through my characters’ conversations without the people who walk past me thinking I’m insane. I build paragraphs that sound spectacular while my feet move but that I can never completely recapture as soon as I sit down in front of the blank page.
It’s another reason I want a dog. So I have no choice but to go outside several times a day. My black lab and I used to walk through the fields for hours. I miss him so much. One day I will get another Maxime. Although next time his name will be Thorin. Or maybe Hamilton.
Ever since I moved back to Copenhagen I find myself thinking a lot about my childhood. The teenage walks through the awakening city (because early morning classes were cancelled, not because I’d been out all night), the yearly boat trip on the canal with my grandfather. Countless trips to Hamlet’s Castle with my father’s American colleagues. I think it means that I’m happy to be home. And that I had a wonderful childhood I can look back on with pleasure.
I hope, as we walked to the station in the light of the late afternoon, that my son felt the same way.