O is for Opal Sunsets and Ochre Sunrise
Timeless Classics, Around the Earth till infinity
I LOVE sunsets and sunrises. Well who doesn’t? They leave me spell-bound, contemplative and grateful. Opal sunsets and Ochre sunrises transport me to a world beyond the scheduled grind of life. Though they come and go each day, yes that too as per routine; but each sunset and sunrise is distinctively different from the other. Every time I lay my eyes on the transiting colours of the sky that encapsulates the setting sun, I gape at the unique spectacle. This holds true for the ochre sunrise each morning, as well. The lustrous new morning sky takes a back seat when the massive ball of orange rises from it’s slumber and washes the earth with it’s golden, healing glow. I have been blessed to witness some wondrous sunsets and sunrises during my travels and right here at home, or when I’m journeying around my city.
On an early morning run or a cycling expedition that starts at the crack of the dawn, it’s a miracle to witness the inky blue sky slowly transform into a burnished white-blue, as the gleaming ochre sun simultaneously rises from the horizon. The morning light starts to transit into myriad hues, finally merging with the sky. The ochre sunrise brings with it renewed promises and a brand new start. It shines upon us, enlightening us with the wisdom of letting go of and starting afresh. Though I’m not much of a morning person especially in the winters, as it get’s pretty cold here, but when the summers begin I transform like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. I’m up and about early, to catch up on my workout routine. Since I workout in the open, I’m lucky to witness and be reminded of this blessing of sunrise.
Then there are the opal sunsets. I have seen way too many in Goa, in the mountains, in Singapore, The Philippines, in Lucknow my hometown (incidentally also Cliff Richard’s) and innumerable other places and countries. Back home, we live on the 15th floor, and we experience the most awe-inspiring view from one of our balcony’s. The room by the balcony used to be the 18-year-old’s before she left for college. I’ve now converted it into my writing room and sack out zone. Many evenings, I stand outside gazing at the crimson sky changing colours, a cup of tea in hand, contemplating on the day gone by. On some days when I’m overwhelmed, stressed and tired, just watching the opal sunset soothes my soul and is a “perk me up”. Though a lot many hi-risers have come up partially camouflaging the beautiful sky, and the Aravalli hilly range we could earlier see; yet this is one sight to look forward to. On some days when I’m driving back home from some chores, a meeting or coffee with a friends; I watch that fiery ball of orange slowly slinking away, as it unfailing leaves me marvelling at its gorgeousness.
Sunrise and sunsets can be great healers. I love the sun and if the days turn dark, gloomy and dreary blurring it out; like they do in London I start having withdrawal symptoms. My endorphin levels go down. My love for the sun is obvious as I have it etched on my body. My first tattoo that is!
Here’s an evocative piece of poetry by the Clive James on Opal Sunsets.
Go back to the opal sunset, where the wine
Costs peanuts, and the avocado mousse
Is thick and strong as cream from a jade cow.
Before the passion fruit shrinks on the vine
Go back to where the heat turns your limbs loose.
You’ve worked your heart out and need no excuse.
Knock out your too-tall tent pegs and go now.
It’s England, April, and it’s pissing down,
So realize your assets and go back
To the opal sunset. Even autumn there
Will swathe you in a raw-silk dressing gown,
And through the midnight harbour lacquered black
The city lights strike like a heart attack
While eucalyptus soothes the injured air.
Now London’s notion of a petty crime
Is simple murder or straightforward rape
And Oxford Street’s a bombing range, to go
Back to the opal sunset while there’s time
Seems only common sense. Make your escape
To where the prawns assume a size and shape
Less like a newborn baby’s little toe.
Your tender nose anointed with zinc cream,
A sight for sore eyes will be brought to you.
Bottoms bisected by a piece of string
Will wobble through the heat-haze like a dream
That summer afternoon you go back to
The opal sunset, and it’s all as true
As sandfly bite or jelly-blubber sting.
What keeps you here? It is too late to tell?
It might be something you can’t now define,
Your nature altered as if by the moon.
Yet out there at this moment, through the swell,
The hydrofoil draws its triumphant line.
Such powers of decision should be mine.
Go back to the opal sunset. Do it soon.
My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.