Other Wind
23 / December23 / December23 / December


One of the things that I love about this time of year is the sunset at the end of my workday. I can see it from the window by my desk as I get ready to leave. Lately, little birds (my boss says they are wrens) have been performing a twilight ritual against the evening sky over the city, especially over the park next to our building. They swarm and swoop around, landing on and lifting off trees swell by swell, some in unison, some in a round. I can’t tell what makes them move. Does each swell have a leader? Do they startle each other into flight? Whatever it is, I love watching it. (Although, I’m a little nervous when it comes time to walk to the car underneath their dance.)

My coworkers and I have been complaining about how early night comes this time of year. I realize now that it’s an even trade. I don’t notice the sunset as often during other seasons when I’m already at home and busy inside my own life and mind. In the winter, I have a gift at the end of a long workday. That may sound cheesy, but that’s me. I pointed out a beautiful sunset to one of my co-workers the other day and he just said, “Bah Humbug.” I can’t imagine not being moved by a sunset, and I’m glad that I’m the type of person who is.

We rented The Emperor’s New Clothes with our friend Erin this weekend. At one point in the movie, Napoleon (the main character) is awakened by a friend early in the morning and brought onto the deck of the ship they have been sailing on for a long time. When they get to the deck, dawn is breaking over the sea. Clouds are glowing. The friend tells Napoleon, “Fill your eyes…. It is here for you everyday.”

That’s how I feel, when I see the birds sway, their black silhouettes against the pink clouds—-when we’re driving across the bridge to South Knoxville and I look back towards the city and see a fire in the sky, its reflection in the glass buildings.

If the weather holds, it will be there for me this evening. It certainly isn’t a lump of coal for Christmas.