I started feeling melancholy last night, laying in bed staring at the ceiling in a house she and dad built a long time ago, surrounded by some of her special things.
All day today, as I ran errands in town, I felt a certain heaviness as I drove past stores we shopped in together, past the university where she worked.
Heading back to the house late in the afternoon I noticed the redbud in bloom, the delicate purple-pink flowers shining against the still bare branches of the rest of the forest. She’d have liked that.
I thought I’d take Katie to a park, sort of a reward for patiently waiting for me all day. But she wasn’t in the mood, and to be honest, neither was I. I thought I’d settle for a nap. But I was restless and sleep wouldn’t come.
So Katie and I headed out to the dock to sit and wait for the sunset. I wasn’t expecting very much, there were only a few clouds in the sky and the last few nights haven’t been very interesting.
Still. It was nice to be sitting on the end of the dock with my feet hanging down over the water and my Katie-girl laying tight up next to me. I was still feeling sad, but it was a peaceful sort of sad.
The water was still, reflecting the sky and clouds. I smiled, and watched the water move as small minnows just touched the surface, creating gentle circles that quickly moved outward.
I couldn’t see the actual fish, just the circles appearing like magic and spreading across the water. Soon there were circles intersecting other circles.
I focused on capturing those gentle patterns. Katie fell asleep beside me.
I was so intent on trying to get those circles, trying to get the light right, the focus crisp. I almost forget to check the sky. But the sun waits for no photographer; the sky was beginning to show a bit of color. And I was starting to feel a bit better.
But those little fish were still making circles and I wasn’t sure I had captured the exact perfect one. So I turned the camera back to the water.
And then I realized the circles were now pink. The water was pink. Which meant the sky must be…..pink.
I looked up. And had to hold my breath.
Katie stirred and agreed to pose with the sky. She didn’t even ask for a treat. The sky was enough.
It’s impossible to overstate how the sky this evening picked me up. I was laughing and running up and down the beach trying to capture it all.
Katie stood on the dock and watched me with a patient look on her face. She knows her mama and she was happy that I was happy.
Thanks mom, for sending me the sunset tonight. I know you were there watching me watch it. It looked like something you might have painted.
For all I know you did.