Fire and Nice

As some who have ridden along when I’m driving somewhere will tell you, I have been known to suddenly just pull over and stop on the shoulder of the road. Although there is the possibility of some urgent biological need, most often the precipitating event is a photographic opportunity. Sometimes, I’ll make such a stop even when I don’t have a camera with me. Usually, though, I’ve at least got my cheap little cell phone with its capacity to record facsimiles of a photograph.

Last Friday evening, as Randa and I were headed back up to Doniphan County, we were driving across the river flats northeast of Topeka. A long line of clouds fanned out from the west, streaming from the horizon to directly overhead and beyond us toward the east.

“Wow,” I said to Randa, “If those clouds leave a bit of an opening for the sun, there’s going to be a great sunset here in about twenty-to-thirty minutes.” She looked across wide fields of corn stubble lined by cottonwood and willow along the river, studied the sky for a moment and then nodded her head, “You’re right.”

A bit less than twenty minutes later, we passed through Meriden. A mile east, I looked back in the mirror and then made one of those sudden pullovers. I grabbed the camera, checked the left-side mirror for oncoming traffic and made a quick exit. I stepped up onto the bumper of the Silverado and climbed into the back of the truck, then turned, facing west.

The sun set fire to the lower clouds. Brilliant waves of orange spread across the long waves. Rims of platinum marked inner layers. Dark silhouettes marked the tops of trees fading into the low fields. Incredible tones played throughout the slowly changing shapes. At some points, it seemed as if some raging inferno billowed in slow motion up from the western source of the sun.

Usually, by the time I finally pull over to take pictures of a sunset, it seems the best part has already passed. This time, it kept getting better; colors burned even more brightly and the contrasts became more evident. I sat on the side of the bed, watching, taking more pictures. Praise and exclamation murmured from my heart.

Though it may be nothing to compare with the one that is to come, this world has its moments. And every now and then, I happen to have my eyes open when it comes.

H. Arnett

Try this link to the pictures, then use left/right arrow keys to toggle through:

About Doc Arnett

Native of southwestern Kentucky currently living in Ark City, Kansas, with my wife of twenty-nine years, Randa. We have, between us, eight children and twenty-eight grandkids. We enjoy singing, worship, remodeling and travel.
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