The gray settled and blanketed the coastline one hour before sunset. The overcast robbed the beach and ocean of their color and left me sitting on a rock next to my tripod, hoping for a little luck. Ten minutes before the scheduled sunset, I finally gave up, packed up my gear and began the trek back down the beach to my car. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little ray of light peeking through the smallest opening in the clouds. I kept walking, refusing to believe anything would come of it. The hole cracked open a little more and the clouds began to glow. I ran back to the spot I had chosen and set up the camera as the color spread second by second across the sky. The entire sky exploded into pastels, followed by oranges, and then reds. The clouds seemed to realize their mistake and closed the hole as quickly as it had opened. The color drained from the scene like water down a drain. I looked at my watch and realized the entire event took place in less than five minutes. Good gifts really do come in small packages.