The ranch at sunset. While living and working in the mexican desert I got to see the sunrise and the sunset most days. It was good for the soul to experience the big sky of open plains because the previous four years I’d lived mostly in mountain towns which meant big sunsets were a rare occurance. Most mornings I’d see the sky go from black to bright through the shades and then in the evening I could sit on the veranda to drink a beer or tequila and let the pale pastel shades of sunset wash through me. I felt good. One evening I sat down to describe the scene. Forgive me this little purple prose.
A black hill range silhouetted like a lying lady behind backlit curtains.
Pale pastels of yellow, subtle lilac and pink hues; while further along the horizon, spreading away from the descending sun, soft greens and blues. Fading so remarkably to indigo, navy blues and then to darkness that one is left without remark on where one colour ends and the next begin.
A new moon slither, so clean and white hangs like a crescent tear in the sky,
Revealing a glimpse of the white gold beauty of celestial heaven.
Draped across the sky are inky ashen clouds, which in their absence of colour lend necessary relativity to the colours behind. Soft shapes, just the two of them, so gently whipped by the afternoons lazy ground heat as much as the almost imperceptible breeze.
Once the understated brilliance of the colours fades a little and the sun settles around on its revolution of the earth, descending further into the temporal grave of the horizon. A pink underlines the wisps of cotton cloud, softening them further and transforming them into strokes reminiscent of a ladies blusher upon her cheeks.
The four dogs, so sleepy throughout the day, lying like corpses upon the dusty earth, and only moving each hour or so to intermittedly move from shade to sun and vice versa, are alive and make I struggle to fend off their hounding playfulness.
One star pops from the canvas of racing night, a prick of brilliant white light, neither glimmering nor twinkling, but solid and determined in its projection of light.
The darkness silently slips over the colour, replacing the many shades with fewer. Colours settle further still to lie on the silhouetted horizon of the more distant mountain range that juts from the surrounding flat earth. The clouds have become like dark ink smears, like those created by gently perspiring hands upon fresh ink of a page of the sunsets manuscript.
The hidden portion of the moon is now almost as visible as that of the gleaming crescent, just as conspicuous in its hanging segment, between the vast deep indigo of the night sky and the hook of spotlight is a shape defined by its colour and a colour defined by its shape. At once takes on the lightness and darkness, and into its open ink well another altogether different shade of light and dark is created.
Craning ones head further back, I see that the solid substance of the smothering night sky is transforming into a silken cheesecloth web of light, where crisp portholes of light are commandeering the sky now. The sky is no longer seen as a blanket of darkness but rather a thin veil of lightness. As more holes of light open the irregularity and asymmetry becomes filled with pattern and reason.
The horizons pale shades are all but extinguished; the broad feathered brushstrokes of the waning sun have been superseded by a more finely detailed luminosity.
Only gentle kissing sounds of this life on earth bring me down from the swallowing sky – a few clinks of chinaware, scrabbling gravel of the dogs’ play and one solitary moan from a feral bull. Peace amongst the deafeningly silent display of the courtship between lightness and darkness.