Saturday, November 01, 2008

Just a moment in a day

One of my daily pleasures lately has just been looking out my front window late in the afternoon. The golden hour before twilight has become very special to me. I find myself looking forward to it. I notice the changes in color as it approaches and builds. I smile when the sunlight turns molten and magical for a brief turn each day. It's a call to worship, a celebration of glory, of creation, of joy. I wonder how many times I've never noticed it.

Across the street from my house is a large field. This year it's planted with some grain this transplanted suburban girl can't identify. Most of the day, the stalks seem a dull beige. At the edge nearest the road, there's a untrimmed line of weeds and wildflowers. On the far side is a stand of trees that loops around and separates the field from the elementary school playground. In this late afternoon light, that field glows gold. The weeds become countless shades of green. I watch the wildflowers go from dark brown to blue to lavender to dark purple. The pin oaks flutter between deep green, amber and a yellow so pure I finally understand how other colors actually are a blend of the primaries. Some trees too distant for me to know by name seem to burn orange. The reds range from brick to rust to wines to berry. Even the bark of the trees seem to shift between too many colors to count.

I am a person more attuned to sound than sight, but this incredible afternoon light makes me feel so briefly like an artist. I don't delude myself into thinking that I could translate this into a piece of art, but I feel that for a few moments I'm truly seeing. Nuance, detail and depth are alive to me. I haven't reduced the world around me to a child's drawing created from the small box of crayons.

Like most people, I love big moments of awe and grandeur. They help balance the dark times of pain, regret and despair. Sometimes though, awe comes upon you quietly, and your everyday life becomes no less mundane, no less troubled, but richer, fuller and more rewarding. My spirit will go calm. I feel whole, and I want it to happen again.

The painting is Road in Autumn by Byun Shi Ji.

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