Even with your eyes closed, you have a vivid impression of me. You see and feel me, a Florida Gulf Coast legend. Your first impression may have been orange, but I’m so much more than red and yellow combined. I hold a myriad blend of colors. Notice my amber, my apricot, my tangerine. Feel my salmon and gold flame. Let my peach-yellow-tomato hues wash over you. Experience my glow and warmth.
How is it that I am? Cloud reflection of slanting sun. Sunlight on dust particles and clouds. Light passing through more atmosphere near horizon, long visible light waves, favoring oranges and reds.
Now, enjoy the complete picture. You sit on the beach, feel warm Gulf breezes and watch as I drop through the changing sky. Listen to the murmur of the gentle surf as light changes growing more subtle. Gulls and Pelicans graze the water, as I gradually disappear below the waiting horizon line.
Mary Ellen writes about her life as an Air Force daughter, search and reunion with her birth family, her gardening career, and her survival of a stroke at mid-life. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Gravel Magazine, Wildflower Muse, The Remembered Arts Journal, The Vignette Review, Modern Creative Life, Halcyon Days, The Book Ends Review, and . Her short memoir, Stroke Story, My Journey There and Back is self-published. She and her husband live in Sarasota, Florida, with their rescued Schnoodle. Photo by the author