It begins with a final wash of gold high in the top of the tallest sycamore. As if the changing leaves had been varnished with bright, warm light. All the surrounding trees are dark, lost in the shadows of twilight. Only this old monarch, it's west-facing crown higher than those of its brethren, witnesses the day's final moments.
In the riffle and the pool above, other trees paint the water with their reflected hues. A fish stirs, takes something off the surface; quickly another feeds. This edge of darkness is the magic hour for the angler, the bewitching moment when the elemental veil seems to rend and water and sky becomes one, with you in the middle. Anything can happen. Your next cast might be that one you've dreamed about…but whether it yields a fish or mermaid, who can truly say?
The riffle begins to darken as the river cloaks itself in shadows. Objects such as stones and logs and clumps of leaves lose their details, turning into shapes—silhouettes of their former selves now surrounded by a flow of quicksilver blue.
And then even that is gone—and the only remaining evidence of the day upon the stream is a single scattering of sparkles on the pool below. A handful of magenta embers, vestiges of the sun's ebbing flame which have somehow found their way through the trees covering the far bank.
You stand quietly and watch this corridor woods as the light winks between the trunks—the sun falling, falling, pulled over the horizon until it becomes merely a glow that quickly fades to black.
Then you glance back and up, wondering if the top of the tall sycamore still has the lost day in view—but now you see only a shadow, a towering dark ghost…for all is nothing without the light.