When I'm walking home and it's close to sunset, and people have begun to turn their lights on inside their houses, there is that passing flash of a moment when I can see into someone's life: the color of paint in a living room, art on the walls, sometimes a glimpse of pans or a shelf of spices in a kitchen. When the weather warms, there are cooking smells also, curling out their wisps to the early evening air. Screen doors shutting. Someone playing drums. A symphony in full blare from speakers. Fragments of conversations from open windows.
We're beginning that slow transition to a more public neighborhood, that seasonal shift as the air warms. Now, after work, there's someone walking a dog every half-block, and sometimes kids in the street with a ball, or bikes, or skateboards. All these lives that have survived buttoned-up these dark months slowly raising their curtains to the new angle of the sun.
And some days, the private inside is carted out onto the sidewalk.