Suddenly, during the family deluge, downstairs and front drive became living space. For fifteen years, I've used it merely for transit, and then, for two weeks, it was an attractive dappled place. Kidlets explored, crawling in and out of kayaks, playing with dogs and practising walking. Grownups yarned over a beer, or retreated from the upstairs melee. The backyard also became a shadowed haven, a good place to paint a flowerbox or hang a hammock.


On the beach, shadows operate differently. They are sharp and distinct. They duplicate rather than dapple, or block out the beach in a different composition, echoing the curve of the sand.