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Tonight Just after Sunset

Evening Sky Study 1, 6x12 oil
Evening Sky Study, 6×12 oil

I went out back tonight just after sunset. The sky was covered with a thin veil of clouds after a pale blue violet pinkish sunset. The first stars were showing through. It’s early spring.  So early that when I was raking the leaves off the flower bed this afternoon I hit patches of ice next to the clusters of daffodils.

I went outdoors in the early gathering darkness to try to establish some normalcy in my life. My husband had a very close brush with death 20 days ago and we haven’t yet emerged from the vortex that event created. We are still in the aftermath of surviving a heavy blow. He is finding his way back to having his body function normally and healing the trauma of the surgery.  We are immersed in all the care giving, cooking, housekeeping, physical therapy, doctors visits, nurses visits, health monitoring and everything else that goes with the territory of surviving a close hit and finding oneself still alive to talk about it.

Sunset Study, 6x8 oil
Sunset Study, 6×8 oil

I went out to sit on the back steps to watch darkness fall on a spring evening. I wanted to feel a connection to the rhythm of the seasons, the time of the earth, the sounds of nature one hears as darkness falls, something bigger than my life. This is something that I used to do every evening when the weather was nice. I’ve been away and missed it for many days . I invited my husband to come out with me tonight to listen to the sounds of spring. We sat on the stairs in the dim light, the first stars glittering above our heads. A lone Canadian goose flew over the back field heading east, honking and honking.  A few minutes later a V of geese flew over honking and heading in the same direction. Then we heard a high clear call of a woodcock circling up in the air.  I can never see or find them. Its too dark.  But we can hear it. Over and over it repeats its song.

Sunset Clouds study, 6x8 oil
Sunset Clouds study, 6×8 oil

Its getting dark. The temperature is falling. There is no wind. The woodcock has moved farther away. I say “Its, too cold, there are no peepers yet”. Then right after I say the words we hear a murmur, then a distant song. We stop and listen closely. They are far away in the marsh down by Ogunquit Road. The song of those little, tiny harbingers of spring starts up, keeps building and is a steady hum filling in the distant silence of the evening.  I remember a past life that seems so long ago when I used to sit out here in the dark on chilly evenings with a hot cup of tea listening to this joyful sound of spring. And here it is once again.

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