4.40pm

It’s nearly dark already.

The clocks changed at the weekend, and I realise with not a little heaviness in my heart that I won’t be able to take photos on my drive home from work, not for months. It will be dark.

But tonight there is a brief reprieve.

I have to leave early to get to the vets, and at 4.40pm there is still light in the sky.

In fact the sky is burning with light, red, burnished, and when I catch a glimpse from out the office window I gasp and race to get away in time for this last splash of colour, this last burst of light.

And right enough there is a spot, there’s a gap up on the hill only five minutes from work and the light’s not yet faded. The red has gone but the sky is still streaked, wild, and although I don’t have long what with the need to get home and dash out to the vets, with the time ticking by and the light sudden falling, I have to stop.

Get out of the car and watch, notice, breathe it, witness, watch, notice, breathe it.

And I can’t help thinking:

Were this my last day.

This is what I too would do.

Head out in search of the light. Stop by the roadside, by the edge of an earth brown field.

Nothing special, just gates and mud and trees and field with the skies huge above, streaked and splattered with light.

And then I would tell you.

I would paint you a picture.

I would write you a poem.

I would streak the skies wild with a last gasp of light.