Twilight's Brief Moment (18x18) oil on linen
Long before I was a landscape painter (still an artist, but just a kid) the golden hour thru dusk, especially in summer, was a magical time; I remember rushing back out after dinner to play with my friends, skateboarding around the neighborhood or riding our bikes -- time seemed more special then.
On those clear days as the sun set and the sky began to change it's hue from a peachy-green to pink, then down to a band of blue that began at the horizon, the long shadows fled away yet it would not be dark for another half hour or so. I would learn many years later that the blue band of sky at the horizon opposite the sunset, is actually the cast shadow of the earth against the atmosphere, and the pink band just above it is called the "Belt of Venus".
Astronomers and mariners have long measured twilight in 3 phases beginning as soon as the sun is set below the horizon; Civil Twilight, Nautical Twilight and finally, Astronomical Twilight before the solid dark of Night. This was (and still is) a magical time for me; the most beautiful time of evening, especially when accented by a full moon rise...
The best place I've experienced this phenomena is in the desert on a clear night. It is a brief moment, but tranquil in it's experience, watching bats flit about highlighted by the sound of crickets -- that transition from light to dark, signalling the close of another day. I often pause and reflect on past memories then, and would not be surprised at all if John Lennon was inspired to write his poignant song, "In My Life" under it's spell.
This Thursday I will turn another year older, and although the sunset will likely be eclipsed by rainy winter clouds, I will be thinking of days gone by and those yet to come, and the special allure twilight still holds over me.