Last week, illness struck one of my in laws. It was a recurrence of a cancer we thought had gone into remission. Because of my husband being out of town for military training, and the eldest son living in another state, I became the “point woman” for talking to the doctors, keeping other family members up to date, and getting my in law everything he wanted or needed. Everything was further complicated when he was transferred to a hospital in a city two hours away.
Last night, as I left the hospital, dusk was falling over the city. Brilliant orange rimmed the horizon and the river winding through the marshes was a gorgeous slate blue. The marshes themselves were the color of ripened wheat, but darker. It was so gorgeous, I could barely focus on the lane in front of me (not exactly the safest thing in the world). For a breath, my fatigue and worry evaporated and I was caught up in the beauty of the moment.
Sunset had been played out over and over in that place, long before a city was ever built there. Back when the marshes were undisturbed and the oaks tall and ancient, the fading sun painted the sky in a bright palette of yellow, orange, cyan, and indigo. The only ones to see it were the herons, seagulls, and what natives lived in the area. That knowledge didn’t take away from the feeling of beatitude when I observed the dusky west. Instead, I felt as if I stood in a long chain of those who paused a moment to really see the beauty of the sky. For a moment, we all stood shoulder to shoulder and sighed in wonder. In that moment, I felt less alone and more able to face whatever came the next day.