It's been so darned hot here, for so many days, that our house has become quite intolerable in the evenings. Tonight I felt energetic and decided to inaugurate our newly repainted back deck by dragging out our Persian rugs, floor pillows, lanterns (thank you Julie and Naomi) and the brass coffee pot from Riyadh. My sons brought their favorite accessories - Jacob, with his sense of the theatrical, played his flute, and Joseph chose to do math sums in a workbook.
We lounged around on the pillows until well after dark, enjoying the cool of the evening. Our garden is surrounded by trees and a small stream runs through the back of the property. There was a quarter moon shining, the stars came out, the crickets cheeped. "This is really great," David said.
"This is perfect for Ramadan," I answered, and I told stories about iftar in Egypt and around the Muslim world. The deck is topped with a pergola, white pillars supporting brown beams that frame the stars, plum trees and sky. We lounged in the darkness, watching the stars emerge; my children snuggled into my arms on either side of me, my husband stretched crosswise, wrapping his legs over my feet. It was like camping out, being luxurious nomads lying on hand-knotted rugs under the night skies.
Ramadan Kareem to all of you celebrating this month. I wish you were here to break the fast on my back deck. It's truly Damascene with the low benches and cushions, almost like a mastaba, but with a craftsman-style wood pergola above.
Woops, a small earth tremor hit us just as I was typing. If the big one hits tonight, at least we know we'll be comfortable on the deck under the stars...