I’m a sucker for colorful sunrises and sunsets. The splendor of the Sun’s rays illuminating heaven and earth is quite inspirational…almost a spiritual experience for me.
Watching an Appalachian mountainside come to life or a golden ball drop from view into the ocean is enchanting. Living in the middle of America this geographic area has no mountains or oceans, but we still have magnificent sun rises and sun sets. We are located in an area where warm air bumps into cooler air regularly and clouds often develop. I enjoy clouds as much as the morning and evening light shows.
I recall as a child lying on my back and staring at clouds as they passed by. Usually with a friend or my sisters we would call out to one another the variety of shapes that resembled objects we were familiar with. Often, we would see animals and people’s profiles. Clouds could appear happy or sinister and would change quickly as they moved through the sky. Pure joy.
I recall a time where I was with a group of people and we hiked up to the top of an eleven thousand foot mountain. It was a bright day, but a storm was fast approaching. As the initial wave of clouds began passing over us I recall feeling so small and helpless. We were in an area of the Rockies where there are many Fourteeners. These huge mountain peaks and valleys which surrounded us became even more menacing as the large clouds passed by. Their shadows rolled over the rocky terrain effortlessly. As the wind increased and became much cooler I easily imagined how one could perish atop one of these peaks without proper clothing and shelter. It was intimidating.
The image above captures one of our colorful sun sets. I like taking reflective photographs occasionally and thought it fun to shoot the sky reflecting off my Jeep’s window along with my silhouette. It appears I am shooting myself with the camera. However, I can assure you that my Canon has no bullets, only buttons and dials.
Conversing with a long-time friend via email yesterday, Bill told me his wife was doing some decluttering and came across her dad’s wrist watch. He passed away 33 years ago-the same year my father died.
Something extraordinary was discovered. The watch was still running and had kept perfect time. And, we don’t know when her dad put a new battery in the watch…it could have been several years earlier before he passed.
How does one explain that? Pretty amazing.
The following photos represent a moment in time. On my return home from errands I came upon a vantage point where I could see an awesome afternoon sky. We had a thunderstorm the day before and these were the remnants of the cloud covering that had produced an abundance of rain.
You may ask what do photos of the sky and clouds have to do with my short story about the watch and time. I thought about that and came up with the following. For every second I viewed the clouds moving and changing shapes and colors, time elapsed, just like the watch. Our every breath and heartbeat takes time regardless of how fast or slow they occur. That is the correlation.
My conclusion is that time is relative to circumstance, but not to the eternal clock which simply keeps on ticking until the day it stops. My incentive is to make the most of every minute because time, as we know it, may end at any moment for me and for you. It’s now time to share my images (all unedited)…pun intended!
The photograph below was taken on the morning of this year’s Spring Equinox, March 20th. What you see is exactly what I witnessed as I pushed the shutter button on my Canon. I couldn’t resist sharing such a stunning and vibrant sky.
” I believe that every particle of dust that dances in the sunbeam does not move an atom more or less than God wishes- that every particle of spray that dashes against the steamboat has its orbit, as well as the sun in the heavens- that the chaff from the hand of the winnower is steered as the stars in their courses.
The creeping of an aphid over a rosebud is as much fixed as the march of the devastating pestilence- the fall of seer leaves from a poplar is as fully ordained as the tumbling of an avalanche “. Charles Spurgeon
As I left home this morning I rode into one of the most stunning sunrises I have ever witnessed. I couldn’t help myself so I stopped at a couple of locations as I headed east and took multiple photos. Each photo is untouched and the colors were as rich and vibrant then as now. I hesitate to share too many images, but am compelled to give you a half-dozen just so the intensity of this sunrise captures you as it did me.Having a stationary object included in a sky photograph usually accents both the sky and the object, as did this utility pole. However, only one stayed still, and it sure wasn’t the clouds!I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of the photographer. I like reflections from glass, water or from any reflective material.Within minutes the shapes and colors of God’s palette changed. I never knew ambers so rich as these. And the shadows so vivid while the reflections were so brilliant. Ablaze was the eastern sky this morning. And just think, this is eastern Kansas and not some exotic locale. What a privilege to have witnessed this unfolding of morning on September 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox. Perhaps this Fall will be special. It certainly started out that way for me…and now for you!
I drove into the sun this morning. First, the sky was yellow and it had a western facing rainbow (odd with no rain). As I drove I watched a glowing ball of super-energy rise from the horizon like Godzilla lifting out of the sea…all very dramatic. The sky colors turned into an intense red-orange canvas. Within five minutes the drama was over, the clouds evaporated away, and the horizon melded with the landscape in the foreground.. Amazing, isn’t it? Every morning, no matter where one is on this planet, the sun can be seen rising or setting. Okay, I’ll grant you that the sun moves horizontally at the extreme north and south polar regions, but who lives there anyway? Such a strange sight those horizontal sunsets.The thought occurred to me (yes, I really do have thoughts occasionally) that we live our lives in a vacuum so-to-speak. The air we breath is the same wherever you travel, except it may be purer in one local than another. The same holds true for water. Food is a bit more complicated as some types of vegetation can grow only in certain geographic regions so we don’t all enjoy the same cuisine, unless it is captured and brought to us or we visit where it is actually harvested. Shelter is another example of great variations; one can live in a hut on the Serengeti, in a tent on the sands of Arabia, in a brick house in New England or in a Chateau in France. Shelter is a necessary commodity for survival. So, in one simple, but profound way, we are all the same in that we need shelter, warmth in winter months, food and water. Safety and good health are wonderful things to have, as well, but not all are so fortunate.As the sun rises so it sets…each a unique print encased in God’s book, volume one, Sky Paintings. As the earth turns and the sunshine escapes for another night, our habits change due to darkness converging on us like a cloak thrown over our head. Artificial light tries to turn night into day, but it’s not the same. What is it about us humans that we are constantly trying to thwart the natural for the unnatural-all in the name of some sort of progress. What used to be accomplished only during the daytime is now an eighteen hour episode of busyness which accomplishes much-but who is to say how much is beneficial. So, as I began the day looking into the sun and planning what I must accomplish, I now view the end of the day from a different perspective…was it all worth it? Am I better off now than I was a dozen hours ago or am I simply spinning my mental, physical and emotional wheels-going nowhere? Or, perhaps I am whistling a tune of joy for having the privilege of experiencing another day. I want this to be the case.A rear view mirror offers a completely different perspective while traveling forward; we can see where we have come from. And we can sense if the trip was worth the fare. Let’s hope so, but if the feeling is that we somehow got ripped off, then it’s time to re-evaluate…and rest a while before we drive into the sun another day. To be still is as important as all the other commonalities that keep us alive…perhaps even more so.
What is a masterpiece? Depending on the dictionary, one definition may read like this: any production of art which is created by one who is most competent in his or her trade, and whose work is most excellent in every way (my paraphrase of several choices).As I gazed into the afternoon sky a few days ago I realized that I was observing a flowing work of art which was being painted by the Grand Master himself. His canvas was the sky and his brush strokes left behind a trail of cotton colored clouds. His method is always facile and his boundaries limitless.Within a span of fifteen minutes I witnessed a hundred paintings. Each was unique and oh, so beautiful. I recall as a child the fascination that clouds held for me…laying on my back on a bed of grass, a warm breeze touching my face, and watching the sky turn into a playground of animals and people and things that went fast. Imagining was so fun.Even though I am a bit older (ha!) I still enjoy watching the clouds form overhead, as in a ballet of sorts. I marvel at how quickly the images on the canvas change. As much as I enjoy the art, it is the awe for the artist that really captures me. Isn’t that true of any great master…we celebrate the maker as well as his creations.Therefore, I leave you with this thought. Be conscious of what is above in addition to what is around you. Look up more often and spend less time peering down…the view is so much more spectacular!