Sunday, November 11, 2012

Into the Sunset

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.
                                               --Rabindranath Tagore

Last evening, my husband and I set out on a late afternoon journey.
And since this is November, 
and the ridiculous custom of daylight's savings time has recently ended,
late afternoon quickly turned to twilight before we had reached our destination.
I generally don't like driving in the dark,
but it allows views that one would not otherwise see.

The autumn sunset was beautiful; 
the sun colored the clouds and the water rose-gold.
I took this photo as we were driving.
I was going to crop it, but I like the way the dark interior of the car 
in the upper right of the photo portends the coming darkness.
It's almost as if one could pull back the colorful sunset 
to see the still, inky darkness waiting beneath. 
Because we were travelling in rural Isle of Wight county,
the darkness soon became absolute.

But before darkness fell, the light allowed russet tones everywhere.
It is an irony that as the season's temperatures cool, the landscape's color warms.
This rusty red tree was keeping watch over an intersection:

I thought this scene looked very autumnal, 
with its pale sky, burnt-orange leaves, and tawny ground.

We turned and drove in a new direction as the sun was slipping out of view.
The sky turned midnight blue, the trees dark, 
and the horizon a small swatch of pale orange:

Finally, we turned onto a straight road.
Without tall trees in front of us, our view of the sunset was unobstructed:

There is something haunting about driving on a straight road 
that leads one into the falling night.
Perhaps that is why sunsets are often associated with endings in our culture.
But really, they are just prelude to the stars.

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