The Lasting Effect of A Montana Sunset

Dry brown scrubby grass poked at me as I sat on a gentle, dusty slope watching orange, purple, and turquoise light bounce off the flame red pony standing sleepily next to me while her long, flaxen mane and my light brown, tangled hair caught the last few rays of this long summer day.


I pulled my knees to my chest and looked down to the big farmhouse, a bright green pasture, while barking dogs and a building crescendo of thundering frog-song from tiny throats gave voice to a summer well-spent.

There were many days like this in my childhood.

Days enough to fill my heart and warm my soul while I sit and look at skeleton trees stark and silent against the faint glint of a winter’s sun through heavy clouds.  A recent snowstorm left piles of snow.  The once pristine, fluffy, and soft drape on the landscape no longer a blanket of beauty but now covering the endless brown in red cinder and heavy crusts of melted, then frozen again, slush. A miserable gray day flanked by rain and wind is nevertheless made brighter by the memory of a day, long ago, sandwiched between a red pony and a Montana sunset.

Isn’t that just the way God works? 

Surrounded by beauty for only a moment, yet, we can hold tightly to that thought for years.

It seems there have been more February days over the past few years than I care to think about too deeply.  Definitely more of the gray than of glorious, horizon spanning, sunsets.

But in the middle of the ashes I can remember beauty.  In the midst of spirit-withering darkness, a splash of gold in a darkening sky.

It is easy, friend, to forget the good when we are so heavily inundated with a society bent on the cruelest of criticisms.  The uncertainty of our futures, a struggling economy, life changes…

Take a minute, stop and breathe,  then close your eyes and remember a summer day, long ago, when there were no pressing issues, nowhere that we have to be, no one to please just a broad brush painting the horizon and a gentle breeze across your face while a symphony of life in bird song and frog-trumpets, loud dogs and laughing children reverberates through your heart.

sunset glogBecause He doesn’t change, I can look forward to more beauty ahead than any darkness this life can throw at me.