All during the year we can sense the tilt of the Earth on its journey around the sun as we sit in chapel. I can fairly well predict the time by the sun now; I know the few days when the rising sun will warm me through the southeast window during Lauds in late winter; I know when it has been dark long enough to signal the end of evening meditation, just before the gong confirms it.
In early January, the sun is still quite low in the southern skies. On Epiphany, the Feast of Lights, I was treated to this glorious site when I entered chapel in late afternoon. Not a regular chapel time for us, I wouldn’t have seen this if I hadn’t left something behind earlier in the day, and only remembered its location around 4:00 pm.
This beautiful picture couldn’t have been engineered; only the chance sun location at that time of year, the time of day, a fortuitous gap in the cloud cover, the lovely altar arrangement (thank you, Suzanne!), and my faulty memory combining at one rare moment made this possible.
You know, the Universe didn’t have to be the kind of place where beauty can surprise you at any turn and practically knock your eyes out. But it is.