Long braids of clouds in shades of tangerine and purple circle the edges of the western sky at sunset. The frigid waters of Lake Winnebago, not yet frozen over are midnight blue edged in a collar of ragged ice.
Slowly, an inch at a time, the sun dispersal over the rim of the world and all the brilliant colors fade leaving behind a grey twi-light. The trees that were turned to flaming torches by the dying sun are now only bleak shadows, dark silhouettes that smudge the endless sky. And yet long after the sun has disappeared there remains a band of ghostly green light, the suggestion of a glimmer that is slow to succumb to the invading darkness. Always it has seemed to me that this brief precious time is not only ineffably beautiful, but sacred making as it does a solemn farewell to a day that will not come again.
And yet so few of us take the time to acknowledge this vesper hour. The greatest symbol of how detached we have become from a sense of the sacred is surely our failure to pause and recognize the quiet beauty of a winter sunset.
As I watch the colors fade into the night I believe I’ve been privilege to have beheld this divine production, this symphony of color this holy hour of the closing day and for this I am deeply grateful.