The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
and night unto night makes known the message. — Psalm 19:2-3
In late July we had a violent evening thunderstorm in Metairie that afterward resolved into a blaze of golden light. Breathtaking! I took this photo out of my car window, though my children strongly protested someone might spy my flip phone as I stopped the car, reached out of the window and snapped the shot.
Allow your imagination to see behind me a departing thunderstorm to the east, casting its billowing doom into a pitch-black sky. I pulled the car over to the side of the road so we could take in this dramatic schism in the heavens, this primordial war between light and darkness. To the west the sun serenely claimed its golden triumph, while to the east the darkness rumbled in fierce anger, shooting forth darting streaks of piercing light. The contrast between them was stunning. Against the threats of an angry night, the sun dusted the fleeing clouds with gentle protests of hope. In the end, though the sun indeed fell below the western horizon, it was the terrible storm itself that perished, while the sun, still alive beneath the earth, patiently awaited the coming of dawn in the east.
I later thought of that line in Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath:
A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud hung over the spot of its going … and darkness crept over the land from the east.