The last of the late-fall sunshine, and the welcome lights of home

It was late Sunday afternoon on our most recent weekend at the Manse. It had been a weekend of unsettled weather: cloudy and rainy, but every now and again the sun would try, really try, to break through, and sometimes it even succeeded, but only for a few moments at a time. We had had a busy two days of errands and seeing people and getting stuff done.

I came out onto the front porch of the Manse to do one last chore, some cleaning-up-the-garden work, while there was still some afternoon light coming down from the grey and cloudy sky. And suddenly, off in the near distance – not right over the Manse, but just a few hundred yards away – the late-afternoon sun really did break through. And the glow it cast on the last of the bright-coloured autumn leaves, against the dark and lowering sky that was still in the background, was like – well, I don’t have the words, but Al Purdy does: “where a man might have some/opinion of what beauty/is and none deny him/for miles…”

I grabbed my trusty camera (which is in fact my old-model iPhone) and headed off for a walk around the single block that makes up downtown (and some of the suburbs) of tiny Queensborough, because it was at the far end of the block from the Manse that the late-autumn show was taking place. Here’s what I saw:

Looking east from the Manse past Chuck and Ruth Steele’s home toward the Black River.

A little further east, with the old (long-closed) Anglican Church off to the right.

Just across from the bank of the Black River, looking right…

… and looking left across the river. Now we are in the heart of downtown Queensborough!

And finally, the magnificent backlit colour of the trees reflected in the Black River.

So then I continued around the block – a route I have covered hundreds, if not thousands, of times thanks to the 11 years I spent in Queensborough as a kid growing up at the Manse. In just a twinkling the sun had gone, and with it the spectacular light show. Now it was just a darkening and raw fall evening, a tiny bit too early for people to turn the house lights on. It was the time of day and the time of week and the time of year when you feel just a bit lonely, and in need of warmth and comfort.

I think this pussy cat, who was hanging about the lingering ruins of the fine old brick house that burned to the ground last spring, felt lonely too. It seemed pleased that I stopped and paid some attention and took its picture:

And then the lights of our little village began to come on.

And best of all were the welcoming lights of the Manse, shining brightly:

The Manse’s pantry may be rough around the edges, but its glowing lights and the sight of Raymond making supper were a happy one that fall evening. (Note bright-red oil tank outside!)

And then something better still! The sight of Raymond in the Manse’s cozy little pantry, making Ray’s Famous Spaghetti Sauce.

Is there anything more welcoming, when you have been outdoors for quite a while on a raw autumn evening, than the lights of home? And the sure knowledge that when you cross its threshold you will be greeted with warmth and love and the good smell of supper?

I think not.

4 thoughts on “The last of the late-fall sunshine, and the welcome lights of home

  1. Katherine you have captured so beautifully that “oh please don’t go yet” mood of fading sunlight. We often experience it from our edge-of-the-city windows overlooking a lot overgrown with tall poplar trees. What a lovely evening walk, and such a welcome home.

  2. Wow! That first still shot really does look like fire. And I’ll bet the house smelled as welcoming inside as it looked from outside. Lovely.

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