Sunset in the Meadow

Kathy D. Hrenko

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The sun was sliding lower in the sky as sunset approached. Glorious when the wind moved the clouds away, casting brilliance upon the sunflowers and goldenrod. Sunglow, my favorite color in the crayon box, is so exact in its yellowness. A color that never apologizes for its joy. Yes, that is by far the most amazing color that God has made – the yellow of the sun. The azure sky and vibrant, summer greens of the meadow come in a shining second and third. The sun made everything more alive than usual that day. Or perhaps I was simply attentive.

The meadow was all movement. The bees and butterflies, flitting about in manic pollen collection, kept drawing my attention. The episodic winds cooled my skin and gently brushed my hair from my face. I saw a lime green walking stick, the silken fluff from a milkweed pod blown down the path, and purple wildflowers with tiny, bright, yellow centers. Inhaling deeply the aromas of fresh grass, earth, wood, and occasional floral scents brought peace.

The path narrowed at places where the tall flowers, in full abundance, created an archway. Some people ducked under the blooms, some moved them out of the way. On my first couple of passes through, I moved to the left, then to the right, like an ice skater, avoiding both the people and the stalks. I approached a man who had stopped to take a close-up photo of a flower so I stepped aside to watch and wait. He shifted his camera to focus down the footpath. He was actually videotaping his girlfriend as she walked through the wild corridor. She emerged with a beautiful smile upon her face. Honored to glimpse this creative and touching gesture, their love made me happy as she walked toward him.

I continued on in peaceful observation. The path diverged, and I contemplated my choice, reminiscent of the Frost poem. I looked to the right and watched as an older couple walked hand in hand toward the setting sun. It made me pause. I felt tears sting my eyes, burned by a sight so tender and loving. How unusual that I might witness two couples—two snapshots of connection. One, a young woman walking toward her lover in the golden sun, and a second, two lovers walking away toward the fading light. Both scenes tugged at my heart as I set an intention: that their love be strong and true and lasting. A romantic heart, grateful to bear witness to sacred moments.

I walked for many miles that afternoon. Just enough time for one final pass through the archway of gold. This time the trail was empty. I stopped to take some last photos as the strong sun shone through the flower petals. Ah, to bottle this perfect sun and extraordinary moment to hold for February. I walked through the narrow pathway on my solitary journey bathed in warm, fading sunlight—as the bending stalks brushed over me. First on the left and then on the right.

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