I caught the most beautiful sunset at the lake near my house a couple evenings ago. It happened by chance, really. I was mad because nobody wanted to go walk the dogs with me and I was having one of those nights where I couldn't stand to be in the house. It was too nice outside so, after a few minutes of sulking, I decided that, hell, I'd just go by myself and take some pictures. I picked a perfect night to do so.
When I got there the sky was still a vibrant blue with the sun about to set and rays of sunlight slicing their way through the sky. It reminded me of something you'd seen in religious art, or maybe on the cover of a bible. It's like looking into heaven a woman I met later that evening told me.
I found myself a spot on the dock and messed around with my lenses and filters as the first hint of pink started to seep into the sky. I tried all different combinations of angles and lenses and was on my belly leaning halfway off the dock when a couple came out to join me.
The woman sat down right next to me, introduced herself, and then began to talk to me about everything she could think of. The man she was with was her fiancé and they had come to watch the sunset and find shapes in the clouds together. In fact, that was her first question for me-- Do you ever find things in the clouds?
She found all kinds of creatures up there-- some that I completely missed. You have to be quick, she told me, they go away in seconds.
I clicked away at the camera and listened to her for the duration of the sunset. She was completely captivated by the beauty before us and I admired her ability to see. In my very first creative writing class, my professor told us that in order to be a great writer (or a creative person in general) you have to be able to think and see like a child. It's some of the best advice I've been given and this woman reminded me of that forgotten lesson.
Her fiance was getting bored so eventually they left me to my peaceful place on the dock. As she was leaving, she asked me to take pictures of her low-key wedding that would be happening a month later in the same location. I left her my information in hopes that she'd take a look at my work and call me. Who knows, this could be a real opportunity on the horizon for my photography.
But even if I don't hear from her, I'll always appreciate this woman for the insights on life that evening, and the beautiful sunset that she helped me photograph.