Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5: Sunset Magic

Yesterday afternoon as my husband and I drove into Rockland via Old County Road to see a late matinee of the new Harry Potter movie, we enjoyed a magical moment that had nothing to do with the movie. The Dragon cement plant, the only cement plant in New England, dominates the horizon along Route One just south of the Rockland line. It was in full view as we headed for the movie theatre, and as we watched, the thick plume of smoke unfurling horizontally from its one tall smokestack turned pink. Hot pink against the backdrop of an otherwise clear, deepening blue sky. It happened suddenly, literally out of the blue. 

We lost sight of the pink smoke as we pulled into the parking lot, but by the time we got out of our car, the whole sky had been transformed by the setting sun. As we walked toward the theatre more pink streaks of sunset were filling the sky, blooming pinker and pinker, and the horizon glowed with one hot bubble of light where the sun had been. The smokestack smoke had turned purple. We lingered in the cold, enjoying the color display for a while before going in to watch a different kind of magic. I commented to my husband that it's amazing how a sunset like that can transform a landscape into something beautiful despite the combined visual presence of the cement plant, a blocky storage facility, a car dealership, and a nondescript, blocky chain hotel. He said he thought it was because all those things are man-made and therefore impermanent. 

A trick of nature:
from cement plant at sunset,
pink smoke unfurling.

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