In the late hours of the afternoon we lie on the rooftop drinking wine. This is good, and the skyline clear. On the horizon, beneath the sinking sun, the Pacific shimmers. It is April and the weather is impossible to top. We have spent the day in Berkeley playing ultimate, greatly to our liking, and come home to watch the evening settle, which it is taking hours to do.
Some part of us returns with the sun. From our window the next morning the leaves on the trees outside flutter and the clouds drift in bright sunlight. It is the rise of the year, April in the northern hemisphere, when the light truly begins to linger and the winter is forgot. Coming home from a month abroad I am surprised at the sunset’s seven pm start. While I was gone the clocks shifted, a change made stranger by my absence also for the corresponding November shift. China does not deal with time zones, let alone this odd springing ahead and falling behind.
Yet this joy at April is a hemisphere’s joy. A friend in Berlin who has made plans to leave all winter writes to say how much more alive the city seems with better weather, and how he could see another year there. I smile at this as he tells tales of a man who runs karaoke in the park, an unofficial act of organization and singing well-attended on sunny Saturdays. We live in good times, I think, and they are called April, soon May. Our spirits benefit from their repetition.
San Francisco does not winter like Tokyo, Boston, Shanghai or Ithaca, but the late evenings and bursts of mid-morning sunshine are welcoming. The gift of more light creates time after work to run and bicycle, to sit on the rooftop and to adventure. One evening we cook as the sun sets and then head downtown. Sia is playing, and the city feels alive with people as the street lights come on after eight. It is a week day and we are all out of doors again, every block filled with people lured by the warmth and the reminder of evening’s smells, sounds, and friends.
Sia is glorious, at home in her awkward presence and amazing voice, and we head back to our apartment past eleven. The last few blocks we walk slowly, aware of the neighborhood and in no rush to shelter.
On the rooftop on Sunday, our bodies sore and sunburned, she raises her glass to the Pacific as the sky begins to fade into shades of orange.
“It’s so beautiful here,” she says, reaching to include Marin and and the city spread around us.
It is so beautiful now, I think, lying on my back in agreement.
Like San Francisco and Berlin, the sun has come and woken us again.