The most beautiful sunset

The most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen was at the end of August. A gift from Mother Nature, with a little help from my friend Judy.

I believe that every sunrise and every sunset is a gift; they are all wonderful. This sunset was so striking that I was instantly sorry that I wasn’t an artist, that I couldn’t capture on canvas what I could see. I immediately understood an artist’s calling, even though I have no skill.

A late afternoon thunderstorm had rolled across an area just a bit to the west. The lightning and rain had stopped, but a fair amount of the clouds remained.

The left-hand portion of the cloud bank was smooth, as if a thousand gentle strokes had brushed it into celestial softness. Its trailing edge swerved downward, dipping its delicate fingers into the aerial lake.

Another set of clouds was just to the right. These contained shallow ripples, a remnant of the winds that accompanied the thunderstorm, pushing up the clouds into uneven ridges.

The blue sky was the backdrop, the clearest blue that comes only after a storm, when all else has been washed away. The sunshine lit the clouds with colors that can’t be isolated and named; they exist only for the artist and have to be created each time the artist picks up her brushes.

Pink and shades of pink, orange and orange hues. These overlapped, gradually merging into deep amber red as twilight approached. Grey and blue-black slowly enveloped the white and off-whites until only the one color that contained all colors was all that could be seen.

Once this sunset was over, it would be gone forever. I watched it from my front porch, that August afternoon, where I sat while talking on the phone with my friend Judy. I wouldn’t have been on the front porch except for her call, as that’s where usually I sit when I’m on the phone with her. Judy is an artist (who does not live in my area). Maybe it was her artist’s instinct that made her call me when she did, so that I could see this sunset.

Thanks, Judy.

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