Monday, September 19, 2011


Continuing the tradition.

Today I drove to my parent's house to pick up Millie after work. The sun is low in the sky and it's only a matter of time before the magnificent sunset the high desert silhouette will inevitably produce. I stay as long as I think Millie will last before a past-her-bedtime meltdown. By the time we're readying to leave, the horizon is a purply glow.

"Megan, look at the clouds" my dad says, pointing at the wispy, almost fuschia colored clouds in the distance. "They look like they've been painted on with a brush," I reply. And then I smile, because the conversation is almost predictable. Since I was a child my dad has been commenting on sunsets. He'd stop and point out the colors while walking into the house from the car on a cold winter evening. The reverence he'd use would make everyone pause and absorb the scene despite the weather, until one by one we'd retreat while he lingered a little while longer. On a quiet fall evening he'd call me to the porch, the door wide open, "Megan, come look at this." A spring break home from college, our house full of rowdy teenagers, I'd see him looking out the window and hear him barely audible above the crowd, "What a sunset!"

I'm always disappointed when I spot a sunset and my company doesn't seem impressed. "Look at that," I'll say and make some comment about the colors or shapes. If they give only a murmur of agreement or simply change the subject, I'm almost offended. From my upbringing, sunsets were meant to be revered, enjoyed for the moment because they'll soon be gone and there will no longer be an identical one to take its place.

I say goodbye to my parents after putting my back arching baby into the car. I watch in my rearview mirror as the sunset change hues and intensity until there is only darkness. And I realize that just as my dad can't help but comment on a sunset, I'll never see one and not think of him.

1 comment:

Karli said...

Wow, such a beautiful tribute to your dad! I was thinking how lovely it all was & then go to that last couple lines & my eyes filled with tears. I hope he reads this. (: I'd love if you could come to the shelf reliance party Thursday with your mom-it'd be great to see you!