The day was off to a strange start. Heavy clouds scooted across the sky on unseen winds. The temperature, unusual for mid-January, hovered in the upper 50's. A week cold front undercut the warm air and the sky filled with cumulus. It seemed spring.
But there wasn't a ray of sunshine to be seen as I drove home from the West Carrollton YMCA, Looking to the west, thin light-colored clouds stood in contrast to the darker clouds above and beyond. The slid rapidly to the north, carried on warm wind. The two air masses fought.
By the time I was within a couple of miles of home, I could see breaks developing, the sky torn open here and there and revealed the blue beyond. These patches opened and closed rapidly.
I thought, as I stopped at Diamond Mill, how nice it would be to be home now and to shoot a picture from in front of the house with the backdrop of clouds behind. But I was too late. The magic was now and it was retreating north.
But as I arrived home, I saw that the sun was trying to shine. I opened the back door, threw my gym bag onto the kitchen floor and hurried to the road. A shaft of sunlight poured through an opening in the east and flooded Pinehaven with light. It looked like a jewel. I snapped a picture, the timing perfect.
We live for such shafts of unexpected light in an often dreary world. The sky opens and closes with a wink. But in that instant, the new view gives us appreciation for what we can briefly see before the clouds again close in.