Ghost Watcher

Ghost Watcher

In the end, darkness claims all. It always does.

The transition between day and night is a time of magic, at least to those who watch carefully. The daytime colors ebb and the shadows creep across the land; sometimes this process is quick and happens in the blink of an eye, and sometimes the process is a leisurely and drawn out affair. Eventually, though, darkness claims the day.

I was in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, hunting for that perfect sunset, whatever “perfect” might be. I was hoping for, perhaps, fiery colors that raced across the sky, lighting the desert up with fantastical colors. What I saw, however, was much more subdued. There was nothing for this sunset, I thought, and so I simply sat down on the ground to enjoy it. After all, the view itself was extraordinary. The spire of Chimney Rock jutted defiantly into the sky, daring the clouds to come any closer. Wisely, they didn’t. Instead of vivid colors in the sky, muted blues and purples took their place. I simply continued to watch and enjoy. And after a while I realized that I was not alone in my enjoyment of the scene; there, perched nearby was another Ghost Watcher. The bird had landed in absolute silence and together we retained the stillness of the moment.

As I watched, and reflected, this photograph was made. It is a fitting tribute to the moment, I think. A sunset doesn’t have to amazingly colorful to be amazing, and each one is incredible in its own way. This photograph reminds me of that, and I always feel serenity when I look at it. Having shared it with another silent sentinel made it all the more special to me, and to this day, I remember well my fellow watcher.

Eventually the darkness was absolute, the summer evening quiet and tranquil, as the world waiting for tomorrow. The watcher of ghosts had long given up and headed back to its home. Maybe tomorrow evening, around this time, it will return once again. And watch as darkness claims all, as it always does.

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