Yesterday evening, in my part of New England, you might have seen it: the sky was awash in cool watercolors, layer upon layer, building up to a fiery flush of burnished orange. It was one of the most spectacular sunsets I've seen, and I was not alone in appreciating it.
As I worked the late shift downstairs at the front desk of the library, my twelve year-old daughter rushed past me to the door declaring, somewhat frantically, "You’re going to have to let me in, please! The door will lock, but I have to take this picture of this sunset. Have you seen it?"
Soon, I noticed she was joined by a few other students: Upper School girls remarking on the splendor in the skies. From upstairs in the library, an Upper School boy came barreling down the stairs, exclaiming, "That sky! Have you seen it? I'm going to take a picture."
Students of various ages braved the bitter chill to snap what they could of the color, and all expressed disappointment about the results. Their cameras couldn't seem to do the vision justice.
But I loved this moment. I loved it for the beauty of the heavens, yes. But I loved it even more for the students' enthusiastic celebration of it. That they saw it. That they wanted to capture it, even while probably knowing somewhere inside they could never be fully successful in that endeavor. My own picture beneath cannot come close to the glory. In a society that assumes all adolescents are checked out while simultaneously plugged in to a device at all times, the reality is we have adolescents who still see, with 20/20 wonder, the world around them.