The Light in the Courtyard

The light in the courtyard is mellowing as the sun slowly sets in Los Angeles. I’m sitting by a fountain at LACMA listening to the sounds of the Encore Saxophone Quartet. I can’t begin to name the piece, though it feels remarkably Gershwin-like (are those strains of Summertime I hear?). The children who were running perilously close to the water have since departed, leaving me, and a few other daydreamy souls, alone with the music.

Kudos to table two– they’ve popped the cork on something deliciously red. No novices in that crew. Their picnic was out and waiting before the intro strains had started.

Table three’s lone occupant is trying to write, though his progress keeps getting impeded by his toe tapping. He doesn’t look the type to suddenly pull a Fred Astaire, but the quiet ones will surprise you (or so I’m repeatedly told). Maybe he’s just hoping the woman in the long, flowing indigo skirt will take his hand and insist on a twirl. She’s up and swaying– not mindful in the least of any potential judgment. But she doesn’t see him– she’s wrapped up in the sounds swirling around her.

Table five plays host to an older couple. His huge smile rivals the brilliance of his white shock of hair. Her presence is quieter. Her only movement so far has been the gentle placement of her hand on his forearm. It wasn’t a demanding move; more of a “I’m here. I’m always here.”

The concert is almost over now. The throngs from the Bing will emerge, disturbing our little interlude. It’s nearly time to jump back in the car and head west– cursing the traffic as I go, no doubt. But for the moment, I’m going to delight in this incredibly uncomplicated moment– something too rare lately to be ignored.

Just one minute more in this world, and I’ll go. Just one minute more.

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