Gone In A Split Second

I’m not sure if words can describe the beautiful scenes that nature has been showing me lately. Usually I have my camera and I can capture it to share with others, but for the past couple of days my drive to and from work has been filled with amazing sights I had no way to imprison anywhere but in my mind. I blame it on the really strange and intense light that has been washing over my area all week. I have more skill with words than with a brush in my hand so lets see if I can paint you a picture using only my extensive lexicon.

Monday I saw this breathtaking picture as I passed between a lake and a golf course. As I came down a gentle hill the scene to my left was of silvery mist slowly rising off of a small lake that was as still as glass, with colorful foliage surrounding the shoreline. If that wasn’t enough beauty for one morning the image to my right has been seared into my memory. To my right was the golf course, bathed in frost that turned everything into a muted almost white landscape. This particular golf course butts up to a marshy area where some geese were just arising into flight. I watched, transfixed (which can be dangerous when you are driving over 55mph amongst numerous other vehicles) as the geese flew in a single line over a sole maple tree that was still an intense orange color, in complete defiance of the white frost covering all the other trees and shrubbery. It was as if nature itself had used color splash to isolate that one tree in a sea of black and white. The geese flying overhead was just the nail on the coffin. If only I had my camera, that would have been a shot for the gallery. That image will be one that haunts my dreams and may just inspire me to take up a paint brush one day when I am older just so I can share it with someone.

On my way home the light was strange, there were clouds but the sun shone through them with an effort I have rarely seen. The sky was that odd dark blue that it can only be when there are storm clouds throwing water and light about in a furious party that my camera always wants to be invited to. (I should specify that I was driving home at 9am so it was still morning) The sun was shining on the city of Minneapolis and the reflection of the sun on all those glass buildings lit them up in a strange combination of gold and dark blue. There were swirls of teals and sky blues as well and tinges of iridescence that were so alluring I found myself grinning in response. The city had never looked so beautiful to me as it did in that brief minute I drove past it on 94 before I ducked into the tunnel and the trajectory of the sunlight changed when I emerged on the other side now heading East instead of South, the light not quite the same any longer.

This morning as I turned out onto Marion and the Cathedral of St. Paul came into view I saw another sight I cursed not having my camera for. The sun was just breaking the horizon so it was still mostly dark out, the sky was that dark greyish blue and you could only make out the outline of the Cathedral. Water vapor or exhaust of some kind was billowing out behind the large dome creating a stark contrast between the sky, the cloud and the Cathedral. The first rays of sunlight had turned the white exhaust into swirls of dusty rose and violet popping out against the cool grey sky and allowing the white dome to transform from a standard silhouette into something much more impressive. One block later the illusion was broken and by the time I was close enough to make out the architecture of the Cathedral the magic had been lost.

For all the photos I have taken that I am proud of, these four images in my head would blow them all out of the water. I could look upon these last couple of days as the universe taunting me with sights I can never show to another or take it as a reminder that the world is full of beauty, even in the most mundane things. It is our job to open our eyes to them because there might not be anyone else to show them to us.

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