Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Soul Food of a Different Sort

There are certain non-earth-shattering experiences in life that make me want to write about it right then...as in "pull-the-car-over-and-grab-a-napkin-and-anything-to-write-with" kind of right then. This evening was one of those times.

The sun was setting as I pulled onto Highway 31 to go pick up Jacob and I couldn't help but be mesmerized by the unusual cloud patterns and how the fading sunlight illuminated the horizon. Yes, I write about and photograph sunrises and sunsets all the time. But, this one was different.

Perhaps it was the storm front moving in from the west, but a low, dark swath of clouds stretched across the sky. All the clouds above were bathed in deep peaches and pinks with a ribbon of lavender swirled throughout. As I drove, one of my favorite songs, "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel poured out of my radio....

"...when I want to run away, I drive off in my car... but whichever way I go I come back to the place you are..."

On the rolling hillside, winter-bare trees took on a nearly magical form as their intricate branches were backlit by the stunning colors of the sunset. I have seen these same trees every day as I drive to and from the school but, on this evening, each one seemed like a masterpiece--framed only for my eyes. Their jagged branches twisted and curled toward the sky forming interlocking shapes that all but demanded my gaze.

"In your eyes, the light, the heat...I am complete...in your eyes....I see the doorways to a thousand churches...."

I don't know how to explain how taken I was by this scene. It occurred to me that in my life, I am always biding time in between the "circled" dates on the calendar--that big event, or special holidays...even visits from friends and family. Much like a roller coaster, I find myself waiting for that "high" only to come back down again to catch my breath for a few moments. But tonight was an ordinary moment turned extraordinary. It was a drive I do twice a day--sometimes more--that turned into a soothing feast for the senses.

You know, sometimes it's the down time in our everyday routine--the dips in the roller coaster ride--where beauty can be found. I found this beauty today in the colors of clouds, the silhouettes of tree branches and the words of a familiar song... food for my soul indeed.

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