The food is cleared, the wine refilled, and we are back at the table in the grass. The sound of the water lapping against the shore fills our ears, for nature is never silent when you tune out your life and listen to it.
It has been a hot day, but the breeze carries it away and I find myself longing for a sweater. “Not yet,” I tell myself, “you don’t want to miss it.”
Though the air has cooled, the sky has warmed-changed from a beautiful crisp blue to the orange and pick of closure-and my breath deepens, for how can I maintain the frantic tension of so much of my life when beauty such as this engulfs me?
We don’t need more pictures of sunsets; my phone remains inside. We need more sunsets; I remain out.
Now the sky is on fire: the final flare to beat night back. The orb glows red and it warms my soul. A cloud, perhaps, wisps across it and it’s almost painful to behold, for I am not conditioned to be in the presence of such beauty. It would take many weeks of being with nothing else and even then … can anything replace this unfulfilled longing for connection?
I take another deep breath, filing my nose with the sweet smell of cedar, and press the sun down with my exhale so that the horizon begins to swallow it. Did it just get brighter? Yes: a final farewell until tomorrow.
Now the sky is saturated with pinks and oranges, blending together to form every colour in between and now I feel the urge to reach for a paintbrush, though I have hardly ever pick one up in my life. Beauty inspires beauty it would seem, and the more natural the better.
It is nearly gone-I try not to blink. I watch for that final liminal moment when the last ray flicks behind the trees.
There it is! My breath stops. A fleeting moment that contains all the nourishment of a lifetime, and once again it is the sky and I radiating together.
As the darkness closes slowly around me, I am glad that the phone remained inside for I do not need another picture of a sunset; I simply need another sunset tomorrow.
Originally published at https://www.canoeflipper.ca on August 24, 2020.