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Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Hazy Shade of Winter

From A Hazy Shade of Winter

Winter sunlight and sunsets are the best, at least where I live. In winter the sun stays low in the southern sky all day long. Richmond's diagonal streets mean my windows face southwest, directly towards the winter's early sunset. Today the skies parted and revealed a ghostly sun as white and as pale as a full moon. It was otherworldly. One minute a dense, dismal mist painted a gray mask and the next the sky lightened and wisps of clouds and steam painted the landscape and the sun. For a brief few moments the horizon is alive with smoke, mist and steam. Each moment the sky changed subtly as I wait for the fog to lift and liberate the sun. Maybe today would be one of those magical sunsets that cannot be described, only enjoyed, appreciated and remembered.

In my days at Media General we saw many of these. It was a reward given for working through a winter's day and staying a few minutes past five. As at home, the windows at work also faced southwest our desks were bathed in winters light. Sunset announced itself by casting an orange light on our cubicle walls. We stopped working and shared a few minutes of wonder. As often as not my camera was at home, which was just as well. Too often technology just gets in the way. Sometimes the best way to enjoy thing is old fashioned way, not digital, not analog, just the senses you were born and the mind to remember them.

Tonight there will be no sunset. The curtain that briefly lifted has fallen again. The sky is shades of battleship and the sun is nowhere to be seen. As much as I love the sunset, I prefer the way today's show ended, a whisk of light and shadow ... faded to gray.

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