Not Long Now

Oil landscape by Yorkshire artist  Jo Sykes

“High up on the crags overlooking Yeoman Hey Reservoir, we were tired and had missed a path; the weather was getting drizzly and closing in. We knew we didn’t have long to find the way down off the tops of the rocks onto more established paths back to the car before it got too wet or dark.

‘Hurry up’, my husband often declared from in front as I had stopped to gawp yet again at something that had caught my eye! But I couldn’t help it when there was a break in the cloud to reveal a brief glimpse of light. It took a bit longer than we thought to work our way down to the path back to the car, where, with relief, we could shed our wet coats and laugh at the escapade.

Later, it reminded me of times when we had set out and sat out waiting for a sunset, watching the encroaching duskiness as the sun settled down playing hide and seek with the clouds and saying over and over again ‘not long now, not long now’. We wait for the short moment when the sky is lit up like a magic lantern, in colours that are unbelievable to describe or paint. Sometimes we got our timing wrong and arrived at our vantage point too late when the best of the magic lantern had faded; other times it felt like a long wait wondering if the magic lantern will turn on after all.”

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