As 2013 began to draw to its close, the skies over southern California began to light up. For several weeks in December, many of us would be on our way into the house to make dinner only to become spellbound. More than once, the early risers among us caught the moon fading into a glory of blues, golds, violet and, salmon. Pictures of sunsets and sunrises passed among friends on Facebook, were sent to relatives back east by email, or were snapped on smart phones and shared with any who happened to be nearby.
It wasn’t just the singular beauty of each moment that caught us by the heart and wouldn’t let go. It was the unprecedented abundance of such moments. Each night, each morning offered a new gift of light, a new chance to feel our bodies turn towards the light and stop, transfixed. The palm trees we passed every day without a glance went black against the sky as if scorched or danced in the softening light, fronds shining.
There is no such thing as an ugly sunrise or sunset. It’s just that the beauty is often more subtle, so subtle we may forget to look. When the skies lit up this month, some of us wondered what it meant — was it some new weather pattern? It’s possible. But it is also possible that the heavens were hurling bolts of beauty at us to make us stop, to make us look, to rob us temporarily of our speech and our thoughts which keep us from noticing the every day beauty that surrounds us. Look now, the skies seemed to be telling us. Look deeply.
Or, maybe this was 2013’s way of saying good-bye.
Happy New Year! Thank you to each and every one of you who has made my first year with this blog a joy. Here’s to healthy, happiness, and peace in the year ahead.
Sunset transforms a utility pole outside my house.
The next day, sunrise – a new day
Many thanks to my sister, Kit Guest, who provided the photo of the sunset from Ventura at the opening of this post. Her eye for beauty and gift for capturing it never cease to delight all who know her. If anyone else has photos of sunrises or sunsets they would like to share, please give us all a way to look at them and appreciate them as the year comes to a close.