It is the afternoon in the fall. It is warm enough for short sleeves and raking leaves. And I think I will just catch this ordinary moment. Because it is sweet and the day is bright.
And I think that I may have captured it. I think it might be enough.
But when I turn away toward the door I see my shadow on the concrete step and the blaze of orange that surrounds it.
And I don’t want to miss it. So I turn back around.
It ignites her.
It burns this ordinary into eternal memory.
Our suburban lawn is Holy ground under the weight of this light.
And she is celestial. Divine.
And I want to follow her. Oh God, do I want to follow her. Not just to hold on to her, but to find the road that leads to where she leaps, and dances, and plays without a stab of sadness that it will soon be over.
She doesn’t carry the weight of the future.
I do that for her.
And as the light gathers itself from all corners of the day–from north, south, east, and west–it contracts as it comes into focus. All of its glory and hope narrowing into a concentrated glow. Possibility and beauty and promise condensed into one short frame.
It is the Golden Hour.
The sky and the land, this moment and this hour are a dripping amber.
Honey poured out over the hills and the trees.
Glory seeping into every crack and stone and open place.
And it is already nearly over. Already moving on. The most beautiful burst of light before it is gone.
And I realize that it is a gift. It was meant for me–always meant for me–to love and to relish.
But it has never been mine to keep or to control.
She holds on tight against the fading light.
And the sun has settled behind the hill. The sky is not yet dark, but it is no longer golden.
And I see her.
She will be the one to let go first.
When the light has settled in her eyes. Golden with strength and beauty.
A Gift I cannot keep to myself.
But tonight, this ordinary night, she is here. Asleep in her bed. I notice that she smells like wind and sunshine. The crisp night air has cooled her perspiration so that it sticks to her forehead. And when I kiss the top of her head, the salty sweat reminds me that the day has come and gone.
And that it was a Gift.