of the first things I noticed when I lived abroad at latitude far
south of this one is that the magic of twilight is short lived in
the southern zones.
This morning when I pulled into the parking lot of the gym I saw
the first rays of the sun creating a vertical shaft in the eastern
I parked so I could watch the painter paint the dawn.
A few soft clouds that had been gray were now tinged with lavender
at the horizon. The tops of the clouds glowed with a light yellow
cast. Higher in the sky, pink was the reigning color.
And the shaft of light, pink. This was not the twinkling of-an-eye
shaft of light as in the green ray, but the ray was about the width
of the sun itself, once it broke the edge of the horizon. As each
moment passed, the gray clouds became more lavender, and then the
bottom edges of the clouds began to glow as well. Slowly the pink
ray changed to yellow as the light of dawn began pushed away the
darkness and bleached out the color in the sky.
I watched as the sun rose fully behind a thin veil of cirrus until
it was too bright to watch. Others had come and gone in the parking
lot, none stopped to watch the ray of light.
I needed that ray of light, I was not looking forward to the day,
soon I would be dealing with vultures circling the carrion.
I was on time for the next event.
Some things you just have to be on time for. I only swam today,
I had to be on time.
It was an unusual building, I have driven by it for over 30 some
years and never been inside. The room I was in was an octagon with
very high ceilings.
I was quiet today. Essentially I had nothing to say. I came to
listen. I was told where to sit and I did.
Somewhere in the next 30 minutes or so, a ray of light hit the
panes of glass in the high ceiling. There was only one seat or two
in the entire place that could be illuminated this morning, and
I turned and watched the beam of light come from behind a small
The blue stained glass gleamed and the dust particles sparkled
in the air. From over two stories high the light traversed the chapel,
lay across the casket and landed on my lap.
I looked to my right and saw another pallbearer's folded hands
illuminated in his lap.
It was not a grievous time as the man had been old, and his life
was full and the event expected.
But still, I took comfort in a ray of light illuminating a pair
of folded hands.