Last night I almost drove into the ditch trying to take pictures of the sunset out the window of a moving car. It was amazing and foolish. But I was overcome by the beautiful pink haze transitioning to orange against the mountains with massive cotton ball anvils hanging in the sky around it like a weightless crown. I glanced down at my camera. A blank screen. I didn’t have a film card.
So, I frantically turned the car around and raced home, passing cars illegally, cutting corners in the dying pink light. Children took turns screaming for me to stop or drive faster in the backseat. I didn’t listen. I was desperate. Nothing else mattered but this moment. All that existed was me and the burning desire to capture this vision. I rushed into the house, found my card laying on the desk by the door, slapped it into my camera and we literally flew back across town. We landing with a thud next to a small grassy hill. I ran to the top. My family followed in a stumbling line behind me.
We arrived just in time. The scene hadn’t changed at all. The light was still perfect, the clouds still dangling from invisible strings. The mountain was an unfamiliar pile of throbbing gold stones that sang with the voices of a thousand angel choir. The voice of God repeating back to us centuries of praise, all combined in one perfect song, delivered at one perfect moment on Earth, to us, his humble chosen representatives of mankind. I stood there, on the hill overlooking it all, with my children to one side of me, my wife on the other, the whole great valley of life and future stretched out before me, eyes locked on the awesome spectacle of creation and death and glorious rebirth happening simultaneously. Somewhere in this euphoric moment I realized that I was dreaming. I pushed the realization out of my mind. With a bedazzled smile, I slowly raised my camera to my eye.