Autumn watch

The sun is setting noticeably earlier every day now.

I left the church just before six and headed to the natural foods store in the West End. As I drove west on Union Street, the sun was almost directly in my eyes, its glare drowning out anything in the shadows of the trees. I drove more slowly than usual, trying to figure out which cross street I was passing, when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw the four-way stop sign that I didn’t stop for; the car waiting at the cross street gave a little toot on its horn as if to say to me, “Wake up!”; I felt stupid, but I really hadn’t seen the stop sign in the glare of the sun.

By the time I got back home, it was half past six, and I realized that if I wanted to take a long walk, I had better leave now, before I cooked dinner. At the end of my hour-long walk, the sun had already dipped below New Bedford’s sky line.