Extremes of Color

Last night as my train sped home through the gathering darkness, the glass facades of Oakland’s business district reflected pure red into the dying light. Layers of purple cloud hung over San Francisco, capturing and compressing the sun’s rays as it set and turned them into sumptuous glory spread across the sky. The sun itself, seemed to be pulling the clouds over its head like a comforter and cozying down into sheets of crimson and amber before turning out the lights.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen such intense colors reflected in the windows of an office building before. In DC, the usual suspect was that airy shell pink color that seems to get captured in glass fronts so often. On clear days of course, there were shades of blue and sometimes I saw a weak orange at sunset, but never flaming crimson like this.

I felt a keen pang of regret as the train dove underground into the tunnel that leads east to Orinda and Walnut Creek beyond, if only for the loss of the view of the sun going to rest over the city. On the other side of the hills, it was almost completely dark already, only a lingering touch of color along the crown of the ridge.

This morning, more glory greeted me with the sunrise. The sun was well up in Walnut Creek when I left, though the light was still matinal in quality, the sky periwinkle, not robin’s egg and edged with pink. On the other side of the hills, the sun was just tipping its golden head over the top of the ridge, a glimmer of gold on a false horizon. Rose and blue, turquoise and amber played tag in trails of cloud and cast into lavendar shadow the swirls of fog chasing around the heights of San Francisco. The city skyline itself was dark purple, blending into the slopes behind it, tone on tone in graduated shades of plum and gray.

Soon enough the sun sprang aloft, chasing away the shadows and turned the sky the bright azure of winter and the clouds pale strangers lost in the blue.

I need the poetry of nature, of the sun and the season right now. Though I have many things to be happy about and be thankful for, this year is continuing to be a difficult one for me and for my family. It soothes the aches in my heart brought about by the daily grind, to see the Earth carrying on its business of being beautiful around me, even amidst frustration and doubt.