Well I will be damned.
I shouldn't curse myself, but whoa. Or maybe the right word is wow.
Today at the last second a client realized he was too sick to come for massage, hence I had the late afternoon unexpectedly to myself. Of course I put my camera in my pocket and set out.
I watch the Statue of Freedom these days. I pay attention. It's not like I've been trying to coincide with a time/space during which the statue's crown of nine stars reflects sunlight. I tried so hard after the initial vision, but to no avail. A friend said, to have seen it once: deyanu. I took his point. After that I became humble, I let go of trying, I relinquished the idea that the experience could be repeated on purpose. No. I realized at last that seeing the illuminated stars is less about scientific accuracy, more about serendipity, in the category of you can't make this stuff up. I let go.
Nevertheless, I've kept a close eye on the statue ever since. There I sat today, as usual on the steps facing the National Mall. As often happens during tourist season, I was in awe, yet simultaneously appalled, by the number of people and vehicles out there between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. Yikes.
I don't blame people for wanting to visit this beautiful, powerful, wounded city, but as I often say, it's hard to share the nation's capital with the rest of the nation. It is, believe me.
There I was, staring out at the mall, horrified and intrigued when, at some point - for reasons I can't explain - I stood up and turned around. I never do that as I really don't like looking at the Capitol from the west. There are too many stairs, too much building, not enough dome. I love the east side, the Capitol Hill side, of the building. But today I turned around and looked - et voila!
|Eyes in the back of her head, I kept thinking.|
In all honesty, I'm glad it isn't extremely rare to see one of the Statue's stars reflecting sunlight. I'm glad those stars light up on a regular basis, whether or not anyone notices. The headdress of the Statue of Freedom sparkles, in slow motion, on sunny days. That can't help but be a good thing, don't you think?
Even better, I'm now aware of the possibility of this rare, but not too rare, occurrence. If I remember to look up when I walk past, it's possible I'll see this again and again. What a beautiful possibility!
As if I didn't already love the Capitol dome beyond all reason, I now have a brand new reason to be enchanted.