Awash In Twilight

Photo Credit: Angie McMonigal Photography

“Come outside and sit with me for a minute,” he says. “The sun is just going down. The sky looks awesome.”

“I’ll be right there,” she replies. “I just want to put this food in the fridge and clean up the kitchen.”

The momentum of the day carries her through one chore, then another, and then another. She hustles to pack up the leftovers, rinse the dishes, and wipe the counter. She mentally assigns additional chores to her to-do list: return an email that she neglected during the day, call the pediatrician and make an appointment for her son, shift the clothes from the washer to the dryer before they become a foul morass of sodden garments to be rewashed.

“Are you coming? I’ll help you in a few minutes.” he calls from outside, pleading with her to put the housework temporarily.

“Just about,” she responds as she nudges the refrigerator door shut with her foot and tosses a damp washcloth into the sink.

She grabs her cup of coffee (potential insomnia be damned) and her iPhone to send one quick email as makes her way through the patio doors.

“You made it just in time,” he says as she steps over the threshold. There is a twang of disparagement in his voice, one that wordlessly questions, “Did you really need to do all of that? Couldn’t the chores have waited?”

She notices the annoyance, knowing that he is right, of course. The kitchen clean-up and emails could have waited. Again, the momentum of the day won out. The self-imposed list of chores deprived her of a few moments of twilight serenity – that spectacle of the season when the brilliant glow of a summer day refuses to yield to the shadows of dusk and, for a brief time, daylight and darkness share a dance together before the one triumphs over the other.

But as she eases herself into the deck chair, lamenting the fact that she squandered the all-too-brief twilight tranquility, she realizes that she isn’t too late. He was right, she made it just in time. She has arrived at twilight’s climax, when the sky is ablaze in fuschias, auburns, and indigos and a sliver of the moon is just beginning to show his face.

She exhales a long, slow, grateful sigh, knowing that this is where she should be. Right here, right now. She admires the magnificent sight before her – the trees quickly morphing from emerald greens into smoky silhouettes, the sky’s cobalt hue surrendering to its charcoal shade, the half-moon taking on its role as nature’s nightlight.

She turns to her left, looks at him, and she is awe-struck. She is captivated by the calmness in his eyes. She is amazed by his increasing handsomeness and youthful appeal, in contrast to her once taut face that is now showing its age with laugh lines, sags, and crevices. She is overwhelmed by the spectacular good fortune and divine blessing bestowed on her when he chose herher! – to shares life’s bright days, dark nights, and calm in-betweens. And she resolves that she will never again let the momentum of the day triumph over the peaceful serenity of a few twilight moments spent with him.

This post is part of the weekly Photo Inspiration Challenge.  Special thanks to Angie McMonigal Photography for her fabulous photos.  Make sure to visit her website or facebook page.


  • Oh my gosh! Perfect post. I am the same way–I have a mental to-do list scrolling through my brain at all times. I feel like I need to get everything done before I can relax–which kind of means I never relax. Great reminder that all that stuff will wait, and that people–and relationships are the important thing.

    Of course, if dear hubby had helped her with the chores, she could have gotten outside earlier. Just sayin.

  • Great picture and wonderful post. I cannot tell you how many times my kids or husband call to me but first I sweep the floor, or stack the dishes, or check my email, or something…always something. I hope that changes. Soon.

    • Thanks for reading. The photo is part of a Photo Inspiration Challenge with a photographer friend of my ( Each week she sends me a photo or two and I write a post inspired by the photo. It is a lot of fun.

      Good luck with your attempt to heed the call of your husband and kids. I am just realizing how many unnecessarily chores I turn into obligations. I am trying to change as well.

  • It was beautifully written, and I could so imagine being there on that porch, but there was a tiny part of me that kept wondering why he didn’t just step up the plate and help her finish the chores faster. That way, she could have relaxed and enjoyed herself that much sooner 🙂

    • Thanks. He certainly would have helped AFTER first taking a moment to calm down from a busy day at the office and a chaotic evening with the kids, and before going back to work another 3 hours from home. He has someone grasped that the dishes will wait, but a gorgeous sunset will not.

  • Daylight and darkness share a dance together… lovely, Christie. As he wished for the two of you. Sometimes what’s most important is right in front of us while we are busy doing other things. Your post is a gentle reminder to set aside the non-essential and study the faces of our loved ones. Let’s admire each new crevice, as they appear on our watch.

  • Love this. This captures exactly why I’m the one calling to my husband to sit on the porch with me this time of year. I love twilight. Your words helped capture the magic.

    • It truly is magical. I’m starting to realize that the chores will wait, the sunset will not. I also am realizing that many of the “must-dos” are unnecessarily self-imposed tasks that don’t really even need to get done. Thanks for reading.

  • I’ve finally given up on doing the chores “right away”. Time has speed by and our first went off to college and I’ve realized how many missed opportunities I’ve missed with her. Not doing that with the other three we still have under our roof. So what if I put the rinsed dishes in the dishwasher the next morning? They’ll still be there every single day. The kids won’t.

  • This is beautiful. It brought me to a past, where I could actually see sunsets from my home. Now I’m trapped between city buildings. Sometimes I forget that the sun sets at all. Thank you.

  • I related to this because I’m the one in the kitchen, putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, wiping countertops, swiffering the floor and a bazillion other chores in the hour before my kids’ bedtime rather than sitting with them to read, admiring a sunset, or just relaxing with the family. I struggle because I want to get it ALL done, and I have a hard time relaxing UNTIL it’s all done. This is my own flaw and I don’t know how to fix it. I’ve missed so much. Too much, probably. And if I can’t correct it, well then…I’m going to miss out on a lot.

    Thank you for this…found you through yeah write and I liked your FB page! are you on twitter, too? I am @ErinMargolin iif you are…would love to share this and link it to you…

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. We must be kindred spirits 🙂 I also find it hard to quiet my mind until what I think “must” be done is done. I am slowly, slowly trying to force myself to just let some of it go. It will get done eventually and if it doesn’t, it just wasn’t that important in the first place, right? Thanks for following. I am on Twitter @christineorgan but I’m still trying to get the hang of it.

  • I’m always fascinated by women who can’t stop the chores. Maybe envious is really the word. Ito ‘m the one who doesn’t know how to start them, who stands at the door when people come to pick up their children because I don’t want them to see the mess. I actually leave my dishes for the babysitter. Yeah, i know it sounds like bliss, it’s horrible. It gets so overwhelming. It also becomes hard to enjoy the twilight…

  • amazing photo and such details. I feel as if I am there. I’m a mental list maker too…sadly I can never think of what needs to be done (phone calls, appointments) when I can actually do them.

  • Just beautiful! I really loved this! Really well written!! My husband and I always wait to do the dishes and never miss the conversation and sunsets that the summer (and all times) have to offer. In fact today I did them while I was making coffee this morning. Thanks for the great reminder to slow down and enjoy those special moments!

  • What a great post I, too, struggle being present in the moment and ignoring the to do list at times. This was a wonderful reminder of why it’s so important.

    • Thank you. The post and image are part of a Photo Inspiration Challenge that I do with a photographer friend of mine. Each week she sends me a photo or two and I write a post inspired by the photo. It often leads me somewhere I hadn’t planned on going.

  • Ah, this is so familiar. My husband is always waiting for me to sit down with him in the evening and I always have one more household thing I’m rushing through. I always end up next to him, and I always wonder what took me so long. When will I learn? Maybe your post will help.

    • I say the same thing to myself: “when will I learn?” I seem to have trouble quieting my mind until the chores are done, so I think I just need to become comfortable with putting other things on hold temporarily.

  • I have a hard time leaving the chores too. I just feel like if I stop, I’ll lose momentum and never catch up again. But I guess that shouldn’t matter when there are other things more important, like time alone with my partner.

    I appreciate this post.

  • what’s that saying? “be here now”… such a simple idea, such a difficult task. how nice to have a partner who understands that sometimes a person just needs to watch the sunset. doing dishes is pretty much the same, day to day. sunsets are different every time.

  • Very beautifully written! Your post is a well-written reminder that it is so very easy to get caught up in what “has to” be done and miss what “needs to” be done! That’s a memory you will cherish always and it’s good that you were able to have that – dishes or no dishes :). Found you on SITs and will be back! Stop by my blog anytime!

  • Found you via The Healthy Mom and gosh, the title alone of this post is so incredibly gorgeous! Love what you have to say–so very, very true. Hits home 😉

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