Between the Rain and Sunset, 2011

panorama of autumn sunset
Autumn Sunset

Rain had fallen intermittently all day, but the day had been steadily dark and cold even without falling rain. But as often happens on long rainy days, the clouds broke at about sunset to give a view of faded blue sky trimmed along the edges with heavy clouds, offering reflected light but no direct sunlight. Suddenly the autumn leaves shone again even in the cooler light. I carefully watched the light, deciding that when my errand was done, or as soon as I could, whichever came first, I’d head for my favorite ridge to photograph what there was of the sunset, hoping for lots of red from the humidity in the air and sunrays from the layers of clouds breaking up, but I’d take what I could get.

No such dramatics were in the plan for this evening, but watching the valley settle into night as I watched the clouds march steadily from the north, hearing only the wind as it swept from far beyond the horizon across my face, tugging at my hair and skirt on the hilltop where I stood, one tiny dot of a figure in this complicated and beautiful landscape, chilling my fingers with the first real cold of winter in its direct and determined path. In the center is Carnegie, somewhere in there is my house, and all of the familiar streets and scenes of my days reduced to a few amorphous blots of color, light and shadow.

In just minutes the north wind had carried the cloud cover over the valley once again like a blanket, leaving the valley in deep shadow but for the dots of light collected in the velvet darkness, small shreds of red showing through at the horizon; the sun has not given over yet, there is still some fire in its day.

autumn night
Autumn Night

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