Sunday, September 22, 2013

Walking till Sundown

Having witnessed the fire of sunset glowing in the tree tops, I returned home by the light of a fading headlamp this evening. I couldn't help but think of John Muir's famous sundown quote:
I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.*
Walking at sunset is one of my favorite times. First, there is the glow of sunset itself, in the sky and in the trees – reflected fire, as if touched by the finger of God. Next there is a wondrous change in the forest light. For a few minutes between sundown and night, somewhere between the light and the dark, there is magic among the trees. Everything is transformed, and even the familiar seems different. Space and dimension seem altered, and the forest is hushed, trembling on the brink between night and day.

You don't get to see this if you're in a hurry to get out of the woods before dark.

I am also thankful that I have an understanding wife and there was a dinner plate saved for me when I came in.

*This journal entry can be found in John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938, republished 1979), edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe, page 439.

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