So, Laura thinks. So the papers have cleared and we are leaving. Now everything she sees sharpens as if through the lens of loss - the orchids in their hanging straw baskets, the row of apothecary jars Carlos has found for her in old druggists' throughout the countryside, the rich light shafts swarming with a golden pollen. She will miss this glorious light warming the inside of her skin and jewelling the trees, the grass, the lily pond beyond the hedge.

The moment when Laura realizes that she and her family will leave the Dominican Republic for an indefinite period of time signals a dramatic and traumatic transition. The proximity of this turning point leads her to view her surroundings in suddenly different ways. The details of her home that previously hid in the background of her perceptions come forward to occupy her attention. The light and plants, which will be different in the United States, come to have a significance that fixes itself permanently into her consciousness. During the moment when she prepares for change, Laura focuses on the essence of what she loves most about the Dominican Republic, the light that contributes to a distinctive sense of place.