The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

A sunset

Working late again, as I have been working late every night this month. Came the time when I could do no more for now.

I stepped outside and began walking.

The air was deeply hazy, the sky that washed out colour of blue which foreshadows storms, and indeed the clouds were building all around, vast cumulus towers through which the lowering sun shone in a deepening gold-red, turning their edges to liquid fire. The clouds behind me, to the east, gleamed a salmon red at their tops, paling to a soft white pink before fading into the darker blue of storm moving away from me. The deep red-gold of the low sun also caught the trees on their east side, showering them in an intense green-gold with soft reddish overtones.

The clouds did not thicken but moved around, deepening violet stormclouds to the east and north with their tops tinged with salmon, only suggestion of storm to the west, their edges more keenly defined now by the sun behind them in blazing gold, with the washed out sky gradually deepening into a soft, dark violet. As the sun lowered its cloud-filtered reddish light fell fully on the trees, making their shimmering leaves somehow of red and green and gold all at the same time against the deep blue-purple-towering salmon of the nimbo-cumulus clouds behind them. The whole sky was etched with salmon wisps and waves of cloud, always with the deepening blue sky visible around and the gold western cloud edges in front of the setting sun, softer now, only a gentle echo of that earlier blazing brilliance, a net of sunrays teasing through the occasional break.

I stayed and watched until the sun dipped below the horizon, until the twilight had passed and the tops of the eastern stormclouds were no longer dyed salmon by a sun I could no longer see, listening to the rushing water of the river and the rustle of leaves on the trees.

And when the sun had fully gone I went back inside, and returned to work.

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