Traveller's tales

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Your very own sunbeam – sunset over water

Standing on the edge of a stretch of water as the sun is setting, you see the reflection of the sun in a line coming right towards you. A person standing beside you sees a similar line coming towards them.

It is not the same line – that one is theirs and the one aimed at you is yours and yours alone. You are uniquely placed on the planet – no one can see what you see.

If you doubt the truth of this – that your glimpse of sunlight across a stretch of water is uniquely yours, think about this; imagine a dolphin surfacing in the reflection of the sun on the sea – you see the dolphin emerge in the line of brilliant sunlight, while a person standing a few feet way would see the dolphin come up out of the water, but not bathed in the reflection – that treat would be yours and yours alone.

Think about it next time you are standing on a distant shore watching the sun set – it calls out that line from Desiderata –
‘You are a child of the universe,
‘You have a right to be here’

That is what we are – part of the cosmos – the general scheme of things, and sunlight across the bay makes me feel that it is absolutely true.
Robert L. Fielding

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