I slipped out the door after the rain to lock up the chickens for the night and collect the eggs. Wet grass congregated around my rubber boots and puddles contemplated the shortness of life in the driveway. The world was in a state of half-darkness, the time when chickens start to think of roosting and humans start to think of sleeping. This year’s kittens gathered around me as I made my way past the barn, each clamoring for a pet…a clump of orange, white, calico, and rust-tinged tiger stripes purring at my feet.
…but the darkness was settling in fast and I had eggs to collect, so I only stopped for a moment before climbing up the hill to the coop. The chickens were in their usual place, perched all in a row. The eggs were nestled in the straw. I closed up the coop, scooped up the eggs and started to walk back to the house.
…but when I came to the driveway, I stopped. There in the sky ahead of me was a storm cloud…white and gray with a tinge of rose left over from the sun that was hiding below the edge of the earth. The cloud flickered and swelled with light….veiled but still bright here, showing the curved outlines of the cloud there…breaking out in a thin and jagged line of lightning here. The remnant of the storm, hanging in the sky, silently mixing dark with light, peace with foreboding, color with blackness.
I stood there, an insignificant bit of humanity under a terribly large sky, disheveled end-of-the-day braids hanging down my back, the outline of a pair of newly-laid eggs resting at the bottom of my pants pockets pressing against my legs, and watched a cloud filled with gray and rose, light and darkness.
It was beautiful.