I’m easily amused most of the time.
Eventide is my most favorite time of day.
Last night I was on my deck as the sun was setting. It was a fantastic evening, after a previous day of scary winds, tornadoes in the area and torrential rain.
I have often marveled at something, but I’ve never really talked about it because I think it makes me sound stupid. I’m gonna go for it anyway, to remind myself, and anyone who reads this that life is about experiencing and when we fail to notice even the most seemingly inconsequential miracles, we’re missing a lot. We’re also missing a moment –even if it’s just for a moment– to get out of our own heads.
This is what I marveled at:
Yes, the sun. But not just The Sun.
Just seeing it in this picture actually makes my eyes water and squint. I’m sure I lost an hour of vision when I took the picture. But if you look to the lower right, that the sun has illuminated the cushion and armrest of the chair on the deck… that’s what blows me away.
The fact that that big mass of explosion, that orb (which is almost perfectly round — it’s something like just .00007 % away from being absolutely perfectly round) which is 45 light minutes away (so when I’d taken that picture, that light was already 45 minutes “old”… and the sun was mostly likely set) or 93 million miles on average (149.6 million km) sent that sliver of its light all the way from where it is to my deck chair without an obstacle blows me away.
That’s why I’m afraid to say anything like this aloud, because people will look at me like I’m an idiot — do this in your best high school bully voice – but I’m gonna make the bully sound inarticulate because that’s how I roll: “Duh… what an doofus you are. What a idiot. Of course there’s no ostable … ocstabul … abstocle… thing in the way…. If there were an ocstabul, then you woulna seen duh sun.”
But here’s where that guy’s the idiot and I’m into a deeper train, more philosophical place of thought: “Yes. There is no obstacle. The sun makes it through, the sun lights the path. The sun, which is a gazillion (93 million) miles away Still Gets Through. And that stuff, that FACT, makes me happy. It makes me grateful to be alive, to see it, to notice it, and to feel it because that’s proof man, that 1) the Universe is freaking amazing and 2) that we can do anything. It just is.”
I just came in from a very pleasant row with my good friend and neighbor, my wingman, RICK. She was in a single and I was too, and the water we were on was a little choppy at times but when I’m out there, on that tiny boat, hearing the water slap-slap-slap the sides of the shell or hear my blades skiiiiiiiimmmmslapskiiiimmmm the water as I try to maintain my balance; or I feel the current pull the boat a little this way or that way; or the wind pushes me out to the center of the river, I sit amazed again because here I am: on this tiny boat, truly a “shell,” on the wavy water with these long sticks that I push or pull to make me go.
And even though my friend is 100 feet away, I’m all alone, without a care in the world. The water is not crowded, so I square my blades and get my water bottle. The only way I’ll move now is with the current or the wind. I take a few sips and I hear the crickets chirping, and I see ospreys dive after fish. On other days I will do this too, not just today, to sit and take it all in. It’s too much beauty to ignore. Sometimes I see herons whose calls belie their elegant appearance; have you ever heard a heron call? They sound like frogs with a smoker’s cough; their sound totally surprised me the first time I heard one bark.
Sometimes bald eagles are soaring. Last week I saw one sitting! on the bank of the river… no branch to make it look majestic, it was just sitting there and it took a drink. Sometimes I see them fish, which is amazing, because their bodies are the size of a loaf of bread. But today, just the ospreys.
Many times the ospreys are lucky and they come back with one in their talons. Today just as I got in my shell, a fish jumped for a peek at the rest of the world. All the time, at the end of a hot day the dragonflies will ride off the heat wafting off the water (and the water is warmer than the air today as the air temperature is 68˚) but every day, The Sun is there too showing me how to get back home.
Oftentimes the best time to learn something is when you’re letting the lesson come to you. It’s not just the sun, it’s The Sun.