People feel good.
Sep 12, 2016
The weather was gorgeous but I worked most of the day at my desk. I got out to walk the dogs for a couple hours in the last of the bright afternoon sun. The temperature was comfortable and there was a little breeze tickling just the upper leaves of the trees. There's a big aspen along the field where I usually walk. Aspen leaves flutter like no other. After walking for an hour, the bright sun was gone and most of the field was in shadows. The sunlight became more orange and red. The light came in horizontally to light up the trunks, the underside of the branches, and the interior of the taller trees that are usually in shadow most of the day. I really love how this kind of light seems to "warm" the big branches and the trunk in the dark middle of a big pine or oak, the same way it comes in a window of a west-facing room and warms the white walls with orange and red. I wished I was sitting up in that tree. The demarcation between sunlight and dark shadow rose rapidly up the trunks until only the tops were bathed in red light, against the blue sky and pastel pink wisps of clouds. The brick-red light on the oak leaves and pine needles made the already deep green foliage look even darker green. I watched the trees go dark until only a few of the taller still had light on them.After the sun dipped fully below the horizon, the light changed again. Visibility was still quite normal, but the colors of the dry hay grass, the tree trunks, and foliage were all muted. In this phase of the dusk, the light seems to settle on things and linger, and to dim almost imperceptibly slowly by comparison to the more alarming, even cataclysmic way that the brighter afternoon rays beat their hasty withdrawal westward. This what some people call "flat light". I noticed that my shadow was gone. I looked for my dog's shadow and could discern none. It felt a little creepy. I was a bit hungry and decided to give the dog 10 more minutes and then head home.I got home, turned on the bright white fluorescent light over my desk, fed the dogs, and took off my boots. I stepped back outside and it was still light enough to see pretty well. Sometimes at this point in the dusk, if it's cloudy, the light gets a greenish cast. But today, of course, since the sky was clear, the light was what you might call rosy. It seemed to me wasteful to come indoors until it was more fully dark. The last of the light seems so precious. Often, as the last slips away, I feel just a bit pensive and wistful and I imagine the primitive as he worships the sun so earnestly.