Country vs. City: nightfall

· SamuelDearingHouse,Beauty,Wonder

While we lived in the country, I always wanted to - some day - spend an entire day outside, from the earliest of dawn to deepest of night - just to watch - to take it in: the dawn to day to dusk to dark. But I never did.

I rarely saw the sunrise in our tree-encircled piece of land. Either I wasn't awake yet or I was about the tasks of the day. Daylight came and did its wakening work.

I often saw the Golden Hour, especially when the leaves were gone. The sun would balance for a moment, on the edge of the world, then slip down. Then gradually - oh so gradually - the yard would yield to the dusk, the dark seeping out of the woods where it had gathered and grown. It would creep across the lawns - settling in for the night. And night sounds would start: the crack of a twig, the rustle of a leaf, the calling of a bird. So hushed but somehow louder than sounds in the daytime.

In the city - the sunrise glints on the skyline of St. Paul - across the river from us. The Golden Hour does, too. The dark settles from above - swiftly. Dusk gathers. Then the Narnia lamps blink on up and down the street. And dark descends, broken by car headlights and home lights. The night sounds are people-driven: vehicles rumbling by, the train's whistle from the depot downtown, the bellow of barges on the river. As in the country, they seem to stand out louder than daytime sounds.

The rhythm. It happens whether we notice or not: dusk to dark to dawn to day. Glory.