The quiet of the small hilltop community descended early, as it often did, just before sundown. Alan was fixated on the idea of filming a time-lapse of the setting sun from the Municipal Center’s third story, and I went with him to watch the town settle into its night rhythms. Insular cloud cover snuck in along with the dark, and the fading light played beautiful tricks through it, reflecting off the vivid green landscape and halogen-lit streets that climbed up towards our location.
Night arrived reluctantly, and house lights flicked on, indicating that families were once again whole, and that their love filled the walls and poured out into the streets: smells of baking bread and grilled produce, and sounds of laughter mixed with mothers speaking gently to their children.
Alan was transfixed on his video screen, evaluating the position of the sun, the cloud cover, and how still everything seemed to be. “I can’t wait to see it sped up,” he said, excited about the prospect. This was his first experiment with time-lapse video. I, on the other had, went the opposite direction, and froze the moment forever with a snap of the shutter button.
Regardless of our approaches, though, I do not like to think that we were trying to transcend time—we were celebrating it, and only then in microcosms. We would have been foolish thieves to try and steal something as beautiful and elusive as a mountain town at twilight.