A month or so ago I bought a car.
It’s silver and only a few years old; good at getting places in a hurry. Before that I would take the bus most mornings to work, and didn’t like it much because I was lazy and the world was dark and cold and sleepy. Some mornings, though, I would walk as the sun was rising with glorious rays of magenta, scarlet, gold; I would sing: He wraps Himself in light, as with a garment; He spreads out the heavens, and walks on the wings of the wind.
Those days it was worth it, walking to work, and I would wish that the walk would never end. Some afternoons I would walk back, past the mesquites, with lovely shapes between and around their twisting, pruned branches, the BX, the burger joint; and the sun would repose with magnificent fires and golden soundless trumpets.
I would walk along the wide, freshly paved street and say to God: this is very, very beautiful. Glory to Thee! But I don’t much want to thank you, because I have also to think about my work; what will happen if I enjoy this sunset and don’t worry about my work? Then perhaps I won’t be doing my best; won’t plan or reflect or get better. But, oh! what a glorious sunset. Alleluia. I would walk along like that, with God and the light and darkness of the day.
After getting the new car I would try sometimes to watch the sun like that and sing; I still do sing, in the car, but it’s not the same. In the mornings I have to try to drive before the sun lights up the world with full brilliance, because otherwise I can’t see the street lights. Sometimes at stop lights I watch the sun, or the birds on the wires and lamp posts, and pray or compose paintings in my head — the lamp posts would make triangles toward the vanishing point at the end of the street. Mostly I try not to, because it’s irresponsible to pay so much attention to the light, rather than the road.
It’s very convenient, having a car — for other people as well. But some days I miss sitting at the bus stop watching the tree silhouetted against azure and cerulean, and singing.