All the world is monotone, washed in the dull gray pause of an early November dawn, colorless shadows clinging to the last breath of night before being chased away by morning light.
Vehicles around me on the road are lackluster, crawling along the cracked pavement. The glow from streetlights has vanished. Business signs which line each frontage, usually clamoring for attention with garish color and flashing lights are turned off, restrained, resting for their task to begin again at dusk. I obediently follow the endless line of commuters ahead of me, subdued in the somber surroundings.
I curve toward the south. A shaft of sunlight breaks through low clouds in the east, casting a ‘golden hour’ radiance across a bank of scrubby gray-green cedars growing near the road.
And then, tongues of flame erupt from the midst of the cedars, startling me from the drab. The sunlight has illuminated a solitary red maple, growing there among the ordinary.
I gasp aloud, astonished by the beauty. No one hears my exclamation except for the Divine. I like to think that Heaven smiled over my delight.
Tomorrow the leaves will be brown, crisp, scattered on the dirt and tossed away on gusts from passing motorists.
But today….oh, today!….that tree, created for this very moment, is fully alive…boasting autumn extravagance in its brilliant mantle of red and orange and gold.
The sacred, revealed in a burning bush.