The light will shine in the darkness and the the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1)
Today we read in church some of my favorite words. And tonight we lived it.
The last couple of days have been those kind of Seattle winter days that make you think that you're living underwater, that maybe you never have really seen the sun, that maybe the moon is a dream you tell your children. It poured all day on Christmas (which, by the way was the nicest I could remember for a long long time - maybe ever. Good company, good work, good food, sweet sweet sweet little family. I keep waiting today for that day-after-christmas emptiness that sends so many of us to the mall or the fridge for leftovers. Havent had it yet.)
Someone told me when we moved to this neighborhood (as far west as you can go and still be in Seattle really) that we should look for the sunset on cloudy days. "The sun dips under the clouds then, and you'll get to see it," he assured me. I didnt really get it until today. Driving around in the still heavy Seattle cloud cover, across the sound I could see the sun shining on the mountains.
At 4:00, we got to Sunset Park - Elijah, who had refused a nap earlier, sound asleep on Jeff's lap and all of us bundled up. A little crowd of our neighbors leaned against the fence that saves you from tumbling the maybe 300 feet to the bottom of the bluff. We were all grinning like maniacs and when I say "leaning" I dont mean the kind that lazy people do at the end of a day's walk, but the kind that would, if it could, press the fence down, lift those leaners out over the water and send them flying right into the fire of the sun itself.
After a minute, the sun sure enough did dip under the clouds as it set. Elijah woke up slowly, first blinking at the "bwite," then as the sun fell below the horizon he started naming all the colors he could see, which turned out to be pretty much all the colors he knows. People poured out of cars, talked and laughed quietly, walked their dogs, some guys tossed a football around, and we all leaned against the fence with all our might. The sun blinded us but we didnt care - we drank it like lemonade on a hot day.
Strangers, we all understood each other completely for a few minutes. We were all post-solstice people who could have stopped believing in the sun until today. But the darkness did NOT overcome. And we were all converts.
Photos by Jeff Brownell, 12/26/04, Sunset Park in Seattle