Driving home from Christmas dinner with my parents (yes, Virginia, it is SO Christmas today - look it up in the Orthodox church and its Julian calendar...) we caught the tail end of a golden sunset. Initially it was all about silhouettes of trees standing stark against the orange-and-gold sky - bones of trees etched on fire. And then we made a slight change of direction, and instead of trees being silhouetted against the light they were having light poured on them, slow and gold like liquid honey, sometimes with half the tree in deep shadow and just its tips gilded with the last of the light as though some giant hand had just dusted the entire wood with gold powder. All this, against the background of a sky that was an improbable shade of lilac and lavender, and full of billows of what (if the temperature was just a fraction lower than it was) I could have called snow clouds.
It was breathtaking.
It was as though God had decided to pass the time by pretending to be Van Gogh.
I did not have a camera with me. Nothing to capture this beauty with, so stark and so mellow at the same time, nothing except the archive of memory, imprinting it on a grateful eye and mind and heart.
Before the winter is completely fled and the spring comes crowding in on us, all young and brash and in an eternal hurry to go places and grow places, I wish you a moment such as this, a moment you can share with this magic winter light. It does not come often. When you stumble into it, remember it's a gift. And treasure it.