sunset tree

The evening light, when the skies are clear, shines a rich, amber gold light across the fields in the moments before the sun sinks below the western horizon.  It’s not so flashy a view as the sunset itself, but it’s everywhere.  I need only turn my back on the main show and look around me.  For a few moments, my world is lit in amber.  Everything looks different – warmer, more alive, and a bit exotic.

Living as I do among the trees, I don’t often see the classic sunset view of pink and purple clouds lit by the setting sun.  I can if I walk a half mile to a certain clearing, and the view’s even better from 20 feet above the ground in the big deer stand out back.  I rarely have the time though, not at that time of day.  There are mouths to feed, water troughs to fill, and all those birds to be herded into the relative safety of their night pens.  I notice that amber light though, and usually wish I had a camera handy and a hand free to deal with the camera.   There are details I want to photograph, tricks of the light as it shifts and changes, intricate shadows that intrigue me.  I think each night that I should plan ahead tomorrow, have that camera ready, but then life and the to-do list take over.

Then, one evening not long ago, I came home later than usual from doing chores for an out-of-town neighbor.  I turned onto our gravel road and traveled a quarter mile in deep shade from the thick woods to the west.   I reached the corner, turned, and my truck rolled into that glorious amber light.

I had my camera on the seat beside me.  I had to stop, even though I was late and technically couldn’t spare the time.  I took a moment anyway.  Just a moment.  Life’s sweetest joys often arrive in fleeting moments.  Sometimes it’s good to stop . . . take a deep breath . . . and just feel the joy.