July 10, 2020

The hours just before sunset are my favorite hours of the day. There is something about the angle of the light, the lengthening shadows, the depth of color, the way the light filters through the trees at different angles, the slight daily change in the position the setting sun, and just before sunset, the slight cooling of the air call to me.

Last week on vacation, we spent the last hour of the day on the dock, watching the sun set. There were murmured conversations, recollections about the day, and guesses about whether this day’s show would be better than yesterday. There were cloud formations that looked like angels, like a dog, like a mountain range above the mountains, like a dragon. And on two occasions, the way the sun reflected through the very tips of some whispy white clouds make them look like they were gilded with gold, or overflowing with molten lava. 

A sunset over a body of water

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It was so easy to breathe, to settle back in my chair, to simply be with the clouds and sun and water and my floating imagination. I had an awareness of the collective sunsets that I and my ancestors, and their ancestors, from different continents, looking over oceans and lakes, rivers and streams, prairies, and mountains all the way back to the very first sunset. 

Christine Valters Painter, in her book, Earth, Our Original Monastery: Cultivating Wonder and Gratitude through Intimacy with Nature, speaks of the liturgy of nature. Day by day, year by year, evening and morning, the same show has been repeated, but never exactly the same. All of creation points us to God, day in and day out, if only we take the time to stop. 

Thanks to God, whose very creation works to praise when I forget! ~ Anne

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