Last Light

One more blog about twilight: sunshine on the trees.

At the end of the day, as I sit on my deck spellbound by the beauty of the fading sun, I observe one more phenomenon I haven’t described previously: the gradual disappearance of sunshine from the tops of trees surrounding the pond that extends perhaps a hundred feet to the north of my house.

As the sun sinks lower in the west and disappears from view, its light moves up the trees. First the upper half glow in light. Then only about a quarter. The trees seem to be looking west at the dying sun as if savoring the last radiance. Finally, only the very tops of the trees at the eastern side of the pond are lit. They look to be stretching upward to their limit to hang onto the last glimmer.

Then even the highest point of the easternmost trees is deprived of sunshine. I raise my eyes to passing airplanes, flying east to west, so far up that their underside glows with sunlight from below. A few minutes later, even the passing planes are no longer lit by sun, and for the first time I see the lights on their bodies and wings.

Unfortunately, starting Sunday, I will be deprived of this beauty by rainy weather, forecast to last for three days, before sunshine returns. I console myself by remembering that rain is the reason the trees surrounding me and my pond are so full of leaves that will soon be turning all shades of red, orange, yellow, and brown as autumn replaces summer. Meanwhile, I’ll just have to stay inside, away from the splendor that gives me such joy.

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