Bands of royal purples, arresting reds and piercing oranges formed a heavy curtain that pushed the sun under the horizon. Objects in the foreground lost their details and simply became dark forms like exclamation marks in awe of the beauty in the sky. Such beauty was fleeting and in no time darkness would cover everything in its embrace. The only light would be from the fingernail shape of the moon and the distant sparkle of the stars. The end of a day was being heralded out in a blaze.
I picked up my camera to capture this last moment of the day and felt a pang of sadness as it began to fade in the night right before my eyes. The day had been one full of storms and intense blinding rain. The thunder had long ago dissolved behind the symphony of chirping crickets. The thick clouds began to move out and the sun sunk low; the bands of brilliant color were what were left.
Just as how the skies had opened to fury, it had been a bad day within my house. Emotional storms and blinding tears had marked our afternoon. That storm had passed too and I had taken a moment to wander outside to get a breath of fresh air when I saw the painting in the sky. As the colors began to brighten on the underbellies of the clouds, my breath of peace was stolen in reverence of the scene in front of me.
I went back inside to survey the aftermath of our own storm and to look at the images captured on the camera. Disappointment crept in as I noted that the colors on the camera were not near as blindly brilliant as they had been to my eye. I placed the camera down and sighed as I entered the kids’ bedrooms to see if they were ready for bed.
I settled down on the comforter covered in hot pink hearts and picked up the closest book. The girls began to curl up to my sides as I almost recited from heart the lines of “Fox In Socks.” Their breaths began to come rhythmically and light sighs could be heard in time with the uttering of the next line. As I started to close the book and go to clean up the leftover dishes from dinner, I looked down to see my oldest daughters holding hands across my lap. Their messy heads were laid on my lap and slight smiles played across their lips.
The view was brilliant. Objects in the foreground and background disappeared as my eyes drank in the sight. I laid there for a moment with the chores awaiting me forgotten. Looking at closed lashes and tender curls on cheeks. Gazing at sisters’ hand clasped in love and dreams. More blinding than the setting sun, the love of our family painted a beautiful picture. Our storms had passed as they always will. This was our sunset after the storm.