Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Chasing the light

It happened again tonight. I was working away on the computer, facing the window that looks out over the front yard. The view is to the west, and I somehow knew I had to look up. Someone seemed to be calling to me, willing me to look up and see them from across the way. But, no, it was the setting sun, casting the long shadows and brilliant colors of an approaching autumn across the trees, shrubs, fences, and swing set.

In my search for summer contentment, amidst the season of heat that tempts me more with fatigue and discouragement than any other, I have found the light of the setting sun to be a worthy occupation. I have tried, again and again, to capture its magic with my camera, and I have never done it justice. The colors on the leaves seem to pale; the warmth, the almost audible call of the light, doesn't even begin to show in a picture. It is one of the things that you have to soak in and vow to remember, taking the time for it to be etched into your memory. Like a baby's giggle, or the face of your groom as you take his arm at the altar, there are moments that refuse to be pinned down on film. Each evening, as the sun sets and the trees are aglow, I have tried. It's times like these that I am grateful for a digital camera. Many frames have been attempted, but no film has been wasted.

I am glad that the light cannot be captured, and instead is left to dance on the leaves. It means that I must stop my work, go outside, listen to the sounds of evening settling in, and watch. Really watch. Long enough to see the subtle yellows and oranges and greens, to see the changes from minute to minute, and to stay to see the sun drop out of view. If life is particularly relaxed, I can wait long enough to see the first star appear in the sky; not to wish for something out of reach, but to see the magnificence of the sky's design, and to feel my smallness amidst such greatness.

My photographic skills cannot capture the light, and my memories may even fade one day, but for tonight I have the dance of colors and shadows to savor and remember. It's a gift, and I am grateful for the beauty.

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