As afternoon grew chilly with a light wind in from the east, I warmed a towel in the dryer for Rocky’s nap and headed for the hot tub. Sometimes, in late afternoon, things show up.
For the longest time, I watched the sycamore branches, bathed in late afternoon light, gold-orange. I saw the tiny buds, still closed tight, waiting—waiting for spring—and Robert Frost’s poem came to mind:
Nature’s first green is gold,
her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower, but only so an hour.
Leaf subsides to leaf, so Eden sank to grief.
Dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.
And, then, I was given another gift. From far above, I heard them—cranes on their way east. I stared skyward and then, there they were, a huge gathering of Sandhill cranes, glittering white-gold in the setting sun. As they tilted slightly, they’d disappear from sight, then the show would begin again, and their multiple “V’s would shimmer like glitter against a pale blue sky. In just seconds, they were gone—but I was there at just the right time.
And then, a hawk did a brief fly over, the sun turning the underside of his wings rose-gold.
Gold in the branches,
Gold in the sky.
Gold all around for an observing eye.
I think this quote best captures the gifts I was given.
Ô, Sunlight! The most precious gold to be found on Earth.”
― Roman Payne