Last night, as I was driving (half-asleep) to pick up the last daughter of the day, I was struck by the beauty of the twilight sky. Half-asleep because a) I don’t sleep more than two hours at a time anymore at night, thus rendering me tired always and b) I had just done an all-day yard sale with friends in 100 degree heat on a June day in Dallas. And yes, picking up the last daughter of the day does indeed imply that there were many other daughters that needed picking up and dropping off at other times during the day. Probably somewhere around twenty or so. I lost count after two. I can’t remember the exact number of daughters I have anymore. It’s a lot – I know that.
But back to the twilight sky.
You know how when it’s almost totally night, but the very last remains of light from the setting sun are still there, down near the bottom of the sky? It glows a very faint orange near the horizon, but as your eyes travel upward the color changes from orange to pink to blue to black? The color at the top of the sky and the color at the bottom of the sky have absolutely nothing in common with one another. They’re not even remotely the same color on any level. And yet they blend into one another somehow. And try as you might to find that place in the sky where you can see one color change to a different color; you just can’t. It’s a seamless transition.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the colors of life. My grandma is in her last days, possibly hours, right now as I write. My grandma who loves to play games as much as I do. She is competent and competitive. A force to be reckoned with. She made good food and put lots of fun toys in our Christmas stockings when we were little. My brother- and sister-in-law are moving across town next week. I know it’s not far and I know it’s good for them, but I’m still feeling sad knowing they won’t be just down the street anymore. My life is filled with the sound of music and giggles and tears and the sight of limbs everywhere (Seriously, teenagers have the most unbelievable limbs. Legs that go all the way up to their necks and arms that can wrap themselves around their bodies twice. When we’re all on the couch watching TV together, there are limbs everywhere, like aliens have taken over our house. It’s a little freaky. Enough limbs for forty daughters, even though I’m pretty sure I only have about twenty. I think it’s the definition of “gangly”.) A few weeks ago one of our daughters was really getting very upset trying to understand why people still die if Jesus conquered death. And the past just keeps bleeding into the future. All of it’s important. All of it.
The colors are now green at church. I find it very soothing after the long, difficult purple of Lent and the just-as-long, glorious white and gold of Easter. Ordinary time is here and it’s nice to just breathe for a bit.
We are not here in this color without the color that came before us. Different, but the same. Redeemed but not yet fully getting it. And the next color will surely come.
(Photo by Thierry Lombry from The Venus Transit 2004)