I watched the sun go down behind the trees atop East Mountain and I wonder why we say the sun “goes down.” Maybe it is our words that distance ourselves from the phenomena that happens around us to the point that even the most magical experience is underwhelming. I am exploring the world with awe again. I change my words.
I watched the sun as the earth…still feel the distance. Let me try again. I watched sun as earth spun until she was between me and sun. If you haven’t stood in reverence with the all of the beings of earth as day recedes and night crawls in, I highly suggest you do.
As I stood on the gravel driveway, with my head turned to sun, I felt all of the trees watching sun as well. All focus was on the golden sphere, hiding among the bare branches of the deciduous trees along the hilltop. I looked behind me and felt all of the trees on the hill there watching the sun, their trunks and branches, alight with angled sunlight.
I turn back towards sun, which now looks a flickering orange fire in the moving web of branches, a lantern foretelling of the darkness to come. I first realize the trees are holding their breath before I took note that I was holding my breath. We were all standing in reverence, awestruck by the moment about to happen. I felt comfort connecting my being and the light. I knew what was coming and it was ok and yet I wanted to hold onto this moment as long as I could. A hairy woodpecker whispered awe from the sumacs to my right. She came closer before flying to her nest hidden behind the wood of my house. I am another being in awe with her. She did not stop her breath like the rest of us earthly bound beings and was in as much awe.
Stopping my breath did not prolong the moment. I could no longer see the orange
sphere of sun and still the trees did not breathe. What are they waiting for I wonder? My senses are drawn up to to my left to the tops of the still green pine trees next to the house. The ones I call Three Sisters. My breath catches again as I realize I am a child in a choir of angels, still learning how to be from those around me who know better.
The light of sun still filters into those tall trunks with interwoven branches at the top of Three Sisters and the temple there is lit as if glowing from the inside. I breathe deeply. Two long breaths. Three. On four I chance a sneak look behind me to see some of the tops of the trees on the hill there still lit by sun. As the shadow of earth slowly reaches up and shades those trees the temple is still lit. The direction of focus shifts upward, where evidence of sun still remains, though sun has disappeared. Clouds float by with skirts of lights, almost giddy with the attention. The temple is still lit. I close my eyes, inhale, and as I exhale, slowly open my eyes. The temple is no longer lit. The earth sighs with the trees and focus shifts again. I follow the focus to the hills behind me and slightly above the highest part of earth I can see. There is moon. Reverence is as intense as for sun though forms of reverence change as movement is welcomed, songs change and dreams stir. I stare in awe as earth spins towards the white sphere now in view.