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A-Z April Challenge; E is for Eventide Everlasting

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Eagle River, Alaska PHALL PHOTO 2014

Eagle River, Alaska
PHALL PHOTO 2014

Eventide Everlasting…

As my parents approach their eighth decade, I’m frequently called on to fly up to Alaska, from my beach cave in Washington State. Illness, injury and even sibling death, has pulled me back into my family circle these last seven years.

No matter the reason that I’m staying with my parents, hard emotions like stress, tension and worry come with the package. It is wonderful to be there, but it’s not a vacation.

Don’t get me wrong, all the good stuff is included; hugs, kisses, laughter, music, and reminiscing about our shared memories. I cherish the privilege of watching my mother mix colors, to paint another beautiful scene, and then witnessing my dad replenish the flowers next to the my late sister’s portrait.

There’s a phenomena that occurs almost every evening (eventide), that manages to set aside my harder emotions and allows me to soak up the good stuff.

My parent’s home is situated on a slight incline at the outer edge of their little town. Mega-city, Anchorage, is as a distant backdrop.

Each evening, I’m caught off guard when I see the colors begin to dance on the living room blinds. Some days the colors come more slowly and I just get that feeling…then I go look out the window or door. Either way, it is a surprise.

I suck my breath in, then audibly release it; another Alaska sunset has begun.

I grab my camera, and maybe a coat, scarf, and a change from slippers to boots. Maybe not. Every second counts. The drama of colors and clouds are rearranging in those seconds.

The cars and trucks of local residents whoosh by on the busy road, heading to some “thing” that they think is important. I expect to see vehicles skidding to a stop, right there on the road, to see this more important “thing.”

Instead, they barely notice the beauty before them, and this maniac woman snapping photos (of the ho-hum-we-see-it-every-evening sunset) in her bathrobe and slippers.

I take air into my lungs in huge gulps.

Words escape me, but not sounds, “Ooooh, ahhhh!”

I close my mouth, raise the camera and snap another miracle moment.

Frantic with the need to make someone see this stunning show, I look around for a witness. No neighbors, no one out walking the dog, or pushing a stroller on the paved walking path.

I race, from the end of the long driveway, back to the house and try to lure mom and dad out to see this evening’s wonderment. I can usually get at least one of them to look out the living room window. Sometimes my enthusiasm even gets them to look out the back porch window.

I insist that this evening’s show is even more beautiful than last evening!

Defeated, I go back out and snap a few more shots and can barely make myself stop. I keep glancing back as I move towards the front door. I get right down to the business of putting the miracles on my computer. You should hear the folks ooh and ahh when I show them what they missed.

All the day’s emotional angst seeps away with each second that I watch the dance of the colors with the clouds.

Good medicine, that will last until tomorrow’s worries fill the day. Then they are, again, washed away at eventide.

Reliving this experience in words here, sharing it with you, makes this miracle… eventide everlasting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Peace,

Patti Hall 2014

 

Hey, I hope you find time to check out some of the other A-Z April Challenge blogs here:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2014.html

Author: Patti Hall

Writer, daughter, sister, mom, niece, grani, and friend. Works-in-progress; 3 children's books, some poetry and a memoir series, "Souvenirs from My Heart." Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the beach, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy. I am a widow (2009), lost my sis in 2012, my aunt and a precious grandson in 2013.

43 thoughts on “A-Z April Challenge; E is for Eventide Everlasting

  1. Patti, thank you for recording the miracles. It does me good to see and read this today.

  2. These are incredibly gorgeous sunsets, Patti! Thank you for sharing. I hear you about the tension and stress that comes with visiting family. I love my family, too, but my “vacations” home are often a long list of expectations and responsibilities. Like you say, it comes with the package . As I see my mom into her 90s and my sisters into their late 60s/70s … well, that list is a fair price to be with them again.

  3. You know I’m a sucker for a beautiful sunset, and these are beautiful, Patti. So are your words and your honesty about what it’s like to go home–the exhausting, the confusing, the rituals, the mystery of love.

    • Every time I post a sunset, I think of you and how similar some of our photos are.
      Going home is all of those things and worth every minute. The good stuff far outweighs the harder parts.
      Thank you for being here, Elaine.

  4. Beautiful photos Patti. Thank you:)

  5. I love how you described this. These really are beautiful shots. I felt like I was there with you for a second. The ones that have that bright hue of yellow mixed in with the other colors are simply amazing.

  6. It’s very beautiful. I can see why it would be the thing that makes your day better.

    • Thank you, Kate. Luckily, I have the beautiful mountains and rain forests at my boyfriend’s place and my beach here on the WA coast.
      Thanks for the visit and comment.

  7. Such a fantastic sky and a beautiful selection of shots there. No wonder you stand with the camera enthralled. I can’t understand the ‘Seen it all before’ attitude of the locals as each night must be different.
    I’m glad to hear your parents are OK and what a delight it must be for them to have your company.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    • Enthralled! That was the word that wouldn’t come to me when I was writing the post. Many Alaskans have the same attitude for Bald Eagles and otters, while the rest of us remain…enthralled by them 🙂
      I think I can safely say that we delight each other.
      Hugs to you too, David. Your kind words always bring a smile.

  8. Cannot believe the locals pass this magic piece of nature by. Doesn”t matter how often one sees Mother Nature she still stuns the very next time, again and again.
    You and your camera are a great team, beautiful shots.

    • Thank you. I’m forever amazed by their attitude, but many here in our beach town are just as unimpressed by the shows of Mother Nature.
      I guess we are a team. I never thought of it like that. I like it.

  9. Hi Patti 🙂
    The lighting on these is exquisite! Happy eventide to you, Patti! ***Hugs***
    Ellespeth

  10. What a magical place to get swept away in. I can imagine your mother must see the evening colors as a palette of possibilities.
    I hope the bittersweet adventures will lean heavily on the sweet in the end.
    I admire you for cherishing your family and protecting their place in your life.
    Cheers!

    • “Palette of possibilities,” I love that! Yes, mom has inspirational scenes all around her: Acres of white and red birch trees stand outside her kitchen window. The sunsets color the snowy mountains that rise outside her front windows.
      I think you have inspired some poetry. May I use your phrase and mention your name when I write it?
      Thank you for visiting and leaving inspiring and kind words behind.

  11. Makes me regret that I hadn’t really discovered photography when I lived in Alaska. So much of my time was spent wandering in remote ares. So much beauty. So few photos. –Curt

    • I left Alaska when I was a teen, and had just started taking photos, They were all lost in my young travels. I guess we have to fill in with new photos of new beauty. Thank you for stopping in for a visit.

  12. I’m sittin’ down by the highway
    Down by that highway side
    Everybody’s goin’ somewhere
    Ridin’ just as fast as they could ride

    I guess they got a lot to do
    Before they can rest assured
    Their lives are justified
    Pray to God for me, babe, he can let me slide
    Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/jackson-browne/your-bright-baby-blues-lyrics/#5Vz2UtL32510WXa4.99
    This line came to mind when reading your story. How often we miss the beauty of our surroundings. Lost in the demands of life. Thanks for helping me slow down and look.

    • Thanks for the link and wonderful comments, my band and concert partner. Love you much!
      Good live music memories with you… Duffy, Curtis, Jackson, Bonnie and many others!

  13. Beautiful!

  14. I love this post. So happy I found you while visiting blogs during the #challenge. These photos and writing are worthwhile moments deserving of a blue ribbon. If I had one to give, you would win. Thanks for taking good care of your readers with these posts.

    • Stepheny, I’m overwhelmed with kind and caring words in my comments today! My readers are sure taking good care of me too.
      Your book is on my list of books to read asap, and I look forward to it.
      Thank you for the “blue ribbon” thoughts!
      P

  15. All the best to you and your lovely family, and thanks for sharing those beautiful photos too. Love the slideshow! (I rarely see a sunset here in the city with no horizon.)

    • Thank you for the kind words. No horizon at my boyfriend’s place either, but next to mossy rain forest and mountains, so I still get nature’s good stuff when I go over there. Thank you for visiting and commenting.
      P

  16. A lovely write and awesome, awesome photos!!! Especially that slide show. I’m not that advanced yet;)

    • Thank you, Jazzy. I’m not really advanced, I just spent half a d*mn day on the WordPress tutorials to learn how to do the slides. I open the directions in one tab and go step-by-step in another tab. Easy peasy once you get it down. I always forget to tell people that they can stop the slide and open the photos for a bigger photo.
      P

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