The click of my seatbelt and the engine ignition returned us to motion. A short turn here, and another there, and we were back on the highway – the long, dry stretch on the Phoenix diversion route towards Los Angeles. As the road curved, I reckoned we’d be chasing the sunset to dark.
It was a blinding drive. With no trees to shield its rays, the sun’s immense fire blanketed the land with a gold, as far as the eye could see. Nothing escaped its reach – from the brush to the sky-reaching saguaros, all was shrouded in a shimmering mist of emblazoned light.
Darkened silhouettes of flat mountain peaks spread across the horizon, beckoning of shelter from the setting sun’s dominion. Yet, their promise a mirage, the road stretched on, ever thrusting us forward toward that ball of fire. The horizon shifted its shadows lower, and the sun-chasing tarried on.
To be both blinded and bewildered, this was its effect – bewildered by both the beauty and the potency of a light so easily ignored under vastly varying circumstances. My eyes fixed on the white lines against the road’s shoulders, as my father taught me to do when learning to drive in a blizzard so long ago. This was the astute driver’s tactic here, in the midst of the storm of light – the desert sunset.
“In <the heavens> He has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bride-groom, leaving his chamber, and like a strong man, runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.” Psalm 19:5-6