Monday column: On the trail of the sunset

Opinion Sunday 01/October/2023 19:55 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday column: On the trail of the sunset

When I decided to follow the sunset last weekend, I never knew where it was going to take me. The late evening sun was like a brilliant ball of fire casting its golden light on the shimmering water of the sea.

The fading light of the sun was slowly painting the sky the shade of orange and the clouds seem to rejoice the changing of the colour. Just minutes later, I also noticed the full moon rising from the opposite direction. The two celestial bodies were competing with each for the reign of the sky in those few minutes before the darkness started descending on the land below them.

When the sun was half-way buried on a spot that divided the horizon and the sea, I spotted a group of seagulls having the last frolic over the water. They flew in circles very low over the receding force of the waves before flying off to the trees behind me. I could hear them squawking noisily as they passed over my head.

When finally the sun disappeared behind the wavy water of the sea, the moon took great pride in claiming the sky. It was ‘goodbye’ the day and ‘welcome’ the night. The moon replaced the orange light with a yellow beam gleaming on the sea, and of course, the land I was walking on. But the moon had another competition that night.

The stars started to twinkle in the darkness as if they were telling the moon that ‘we are here to add to the splendor of the night’. They were like little dots of pearls in the vast space twinkling profusely adding to the magic of the night sky. It made me stop to absorb the atmosphere. It also made wonder. We go on living most of our lives but never notice the beauty of the night sky.

I was not alone on the road but most of the people were too preoccupied with their own thoughts. Their feet were firmly placed on the ground and so were their eyes. Probably their thoughts were occupied by money matters, office responsibilities or family affairs. They ‘see’ only the contents of their minds and ‘hear’ the voice of their turmoil as they carry on with their business.

As for me, my affair with the evening sky was over for that day. I walked back to my car and made my street exit. I gave the full moon the last look before driving away. The stars were still winking down at me. The clouds were keeping a respectable distance avoiding to block the shine from the moon. A twinge of sadness descended on my thoughts as I arrived home.

I was leaving behind the full glamour of the night sky when I was entering my house. But as a great compensation, the warm welcome I got from my family made me feel good again. Besides, I told myself as I was preparing for dinner, I could go back to the seafront minutes before the daybreak to watch the sun make a comeback from the horizon during sunrise.