Ground Zero

Today I’m grateful for my wandering spirit. I’ve been an explorer all my life. Countless trees climbed, tunnels discovered, and forts built from salvaged Christmas trees. From this life I will take many rewards for my curious streak. I've witnessed some magnificent things. Images of nature’s miracles fill my memory. Last night’s sunset was no exception.

I confess I’ve been avoiding my blog. I have no excuse except that I’m a stubborn perfectionist with hedonistic tendencies, which makes for a marvelous procrastinator’s soup.

It had rained intermittently all day, with slices of  blue sky teasing us as we drove south to Santa Cruz. Our waning Indian Summer bellowed its last gasps while autumn tiptoed in softly, announcing itself with gentle sprinkles and gray skies. As the sun began to set, I noticed waterfalls of light coming from folds in the clouds. It was one of those priceless moments and without hesitation we pulled the car over to watch the spectacle.

I often seem to miss having my good camera with me when I need it, so I was relieved to find the pocket one I carry around to capture the unfolding moments of beauty. I knew my camera's eye could never compare to my own, but I was moved to try to capture even one glorious photograph, even if it could never be perfect.

Time stood still and we were in the perfect spot. With no time crunches to challenge us, and Friday afternoon traffic holding us to the well-known back roads, we were free to stand in awe of the sun’s glorious light and its evening dance with the clouds.

As I stood there, I promised to let go of my self-serving perfectionism and allow my flaws to help create my art. The sun's stunning beam answered with warm compassion. Heavy clouds and the dull gray hue of the sky threatened to destroy a perfectly good sunset, but the sun prevailed, using only what it had - a simple crack, a slice, a sliver. Through that opening, an amazing sky was born with light. My mind relaxed a bit and I loosened the binding expectations long enough to feel lighter and warmer, kinder to myself. At that moment, joy crept in and sat down smiling.

Inspiration comes from moments of clarity as nature unfolds itself and offers up treasures uncounted. Tonight’s sunset reminded me that there is beauty in everything, even a rain storm.