As I drove west along a deserted highway in southern Michigan last night, the sun emerged from the clouds and created some magnificent colors. I must admit, though, that my first thoughts were to connect the colorful sunset to a cynical metaphor about the American economy, especially in light of my recent dour mood about the likelihood that we are entering a major economic depression.
Yet this thought quickly passed, and instead I parked the car on the side of the road to watch the atmospheric display. I've learned that intense sunsets rapidly fade, and that you only have a few minutes to enjoy the dazzling blend of orange, pink, and purple hues before darkness arrives.
This was not exactly the profound state on being that Zen Buddhists call satori, nor was it even one of those elusive "perfect moments" in which all is right with the world. Yet my time spent staring at the beauty above was well spent, and I climbed back into my car a bit more... peaceful.
I drove on with a full moon in my rear view mirror and in front of me - streaking through my eyeglasses - the last streaks of color receding into the night like wisps of smoke from a dying campfire.
I vow to watch more sunsets.