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W&OD at Dusk

I walked miles 41 to 39.5, 3 miles round trip (Sun evening). The way up the gap was fine, but there were still a fair number of other people out. The way back was better. I walked from 4:30 to 5:30, the sun sets now at 5pm. So on my way back, the light faded and the people winked from view, mysteriously lifted off the path into their own nighttime lives.



I can't see a blood-red section of sky without thinking of the fires of Mordor. The sun dropped below the horizon and that was left...a sudden bloody spot of bright red fire. It was an overcast dusk, most of the sunset light had been held to the horizon from south to north and then this sudden reddened area.

I walked down a narrow avenue of tall, thin, leafless trees. The grade is gentle for the trains, with high walls of dirt on either side hard on the trail. On top of those walls, straight trunks reach high into the grayed sky. As you head down the W&OD trail, you see this line stretching out before you, like a huge hallway in a castle or a cathedral, several stories high, reaching up to God.

The branches lie against the sky in their individuality. I love to trace them out against the sky at this time of year. Each tree is different. It's like examining a leaf with its smaller and smaller veins branching out. Every tree type is similar. Many tree types are different. They fill the sky that otherwise seems empty. In summer, this would be all shade, but now it's full of light. Different and similar. Same and unique. Light and dark. Stark and full. Abundant and empty. Again, I'm alone in my universe, but surrounded by the life-force of the trees pressing in on me. I am small as a mouse.

The sky darkens.

In the final half-mile, the remaining light is all around me, no longer captured in the sky. The path, the air is luminescent in the fading light, as light as the sky above. I feel light as air, floating along in the dusk.

Is the car still there?

Yes, dark and waiting for me to hit the remote and light the interior.

Frog

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