Red at night, flyers delight

I was on my way from Calpe to Rotterdam, a sunset flight. As I normally do when I get frustrated with life, I throw on ‘Desert Rose’ by Sting on replay in the iPod until I get the message that ‘nothing is at it seems’.

Looking out the window assisted in my mood transformation by allowing the nothingness to permeate my mind, thus erasing the troubles of the day. Engaged in books, electronic devices and napping, the other passengers were all missing it. Was I the only one peering out the window, enthralled in the magical show of the sun disappearing into the horizon, leaving only intense red, pink, and then orange to hold away the darkness? The colours of the sun-trail literally holding up and away the blackness as best it can – supporting and squeezing out one more moment of this day.

Now I know where neon colours come from. If you‘ve never been on a sunset flight, may I suggest you put it on your to do list. The colours are spectacular; the navy is darker, the purples richer, the red-hot intensity, the bright pink neon and the royal blue heavenly. With nothing to block the view, the sunset, along with the colours, seems to last forever, especially if you are chasing the sun south to north. Wisps of purple lace-like clouds dance among the band of colours, uniting them into one collage.

Try as it might, the blue on top of the ribbon band starts to give way to the heavy navy, then purple, which in turn gives way to the night. Compressed by the enormity of the night sky, the colours magically grow richer and deeper.

Glowing red, orange, yellow, green (yes, green where the golden yellow kisses the blue sky) blue, indigo and violet. These are the colours of transformation. These colours transform day to night, brightness to darkness. And these are the colours of our chakras, the energy centers in our body whose significance can transform us from cave dwellers to angels.

On the other side of the sunset, a sunrise emerges. Now, the night is dissolving as the golden rays of the sun fights to lift the veil of night by illuminating the sky. A gentle reminder that night does not always win this epic battle steeped in eternity and light will prevail.

The land turns dark first, lights on the ground start to sparkle, one here or there and it’s not long before full villages are illuminated. Soon, a star appears. And then another. As you look up, full constellations are in view. The universe and man, in a beautiful demonstration of ‘as above, so below’, with only a thin band of visible spectrum of colours separating the two. European villages twinkle like the dew in the morning on the spider’s web. Each little village with their spoke like roads and alleys connect to each other with a fine silk line. Only the football pitches brightly lit are discernable, randomly scattered, like the bugs caught in the webs.

My analytical mind wonders what all of this means. Why am I obsessed with all of this? Why has this enthralled me for over an hour? And am I not weary of Desert Rose yet? Is this a metaphor that darkness compresses the light, intensifying it not unlike negative issues should only make the positives brighter? The darkness overtakes the light but the light never gives up and also pushes the darkness to back from which it came.

As we approached nearer to the ground, more people took notice of the happenings outside of the cabin. Some to simply point out their house, some to just wonder in the miniature landscape of it all. In the end, I realized it didn’t mean anything at all. It wasn’t a deeply hidden metaphor. That’s my previous life (BA – before adventure) chatting to me that everything needs meaning, everything needs to be analyzed and anything that grabs your attention and fills your time needs to have value. How many of us make an excuse to take time to sit and read a book? How many of us find the occasion to sit watch a whole sunset – without doing anything else? How many of us purely do just one thing at a time?

Unexpectedly, I was aware I was simply observing the beauty of the world without all the day to day distraction and noises that most people cope with. Without all the details of living in a modern world, my life is becoming less stressful and more meaningful. Without possessions to worry and fret about, other parts of my experience are able to shine through, and most importantly, without self judgment.

My ambition now is to pay attention to not only the moment but the full exquisiteness of the moment, whether I am observing or doing. Basically, I have removed the muddle we call details to reveal that some things are spectacular just as they are – even uncomplicated things like colours and sparkling lights in the air.

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