Until early summer fully dresses the trees, I see through the windows of our flat the kind of sunsets that I used to dream of.
As our rooms take on a blood-red hue, I look out at open sky, sea, trees silhouetted in the foreground, framing the power and majesty of the Sun – an incandescent crimson disc lowering in the sky as we rotate rapidly away. An occasion, weather and life permitting, to be mesmerised by something I otherwise take so much for granted.
The best sunsets are the greatest show on Earth, with the finest cast: the Sun, local star and life-giver; planet Earth, our only home and mother; Humanity, the witness bathed in the glow of the universe – very likely sole witness, briefly self-aware until the show is over.
But this, surely, is what draws us to sunsets (or dawns, but the west coast is my preference): a fleeting chance for our spirit to acknowledge that we never left the Garden of Eden and that we stand, already, in Paradise.
Paradise hangs impossibly in the blackness of space, entirely alone and beautiful. And yet we do not see it – except for a fleeting glimpse as the Sun sinks from our view.