Have we ever stopped to see the hues of the setting sun? Of how it paints the sky with myriad colours — the riot of orange and red, pink and blue? Of how the dark colours around the sun begin to light up as it stretches across the sky? Some parts are already a darker shade pointing to the advent of night.
The setting sun, with hues so rich, giving out a warmth that has lost the harshness of the morning seems to hold out a promise — a promise that with its setting would come a cool, calm night. That, it is a signal for the birds to return to their nests, to the trees, that they can sway again, after drooping under the scorching heat all day. That every home awaits the return of the family, whom it protects with care. As against the brilliance of the morning sun that dazzled the eyes, the setting sun is calm, not lost for colours though but pleasing to behold. It sets the mood for the rest of the hours, till it rises again. Such is the mystery of nature. We are automatically aligned with its movements!
The setting sun sees its surroundings in a different urgency than it saw while it rose. The urgency to turn back, after the day’s job is done. The twitter of the birds is a hush, more a plaintive cry to find their way back so long the day is still alive. The leaves rustle in lethargy, seeming thankful that the rays are gentle now. The countryside sees the shepherd guiding its herd back — who plod along contended and belly full.
The cities paint a different picture altogether. The rush of transport though seemingly endless carries people eager to get back to their loved ones.
The setting sun a deep orange itself seems to say, “I am different from when I rose”. With the day rolling on it seems to have seen a lot, learnt a lot. So, as it sets, it is no longer gold and white, no longer restless to spread in the sky, it is sublime — pregnant with knowledge and so more dense, that its job is done.
With the setting song every individual member that we see around us — trees and birds, houses and beings — seem to merge into a single colour — the outline often painted by artists in black. But oh so very beautiful!
The setting of the sun tells us that yet another day is the story of the past. That we will use “was” and not “is” to the deeds done. That we have yet again added a page to the history of time. It encourages us to reflect what we did today, so that we can avoid our mistakes and double our good.
The setting sun that falls on the wrinkled face shows us where to find a wealth of knowledge. The rays that fall on the being coming home after a hard day’s work shows us where to find a wealth of perseverance. The hues that fall on the child’s face shows us where to find hope, laughter, and the new spring of life.
The setting sun tells us we have to go down to rise again. That nothing in this world is there forever. The wrinkled face, so loved, would cease to be one day, but the little cherub will show the light of the day.
The setting sun — shining on the sand — shows that ‘all that glitters is not gold’. It can be a deep yellow, dune after dune. Falling on the waves, it seems to dance with them just one more time before it dips into the horizon. On the mountains, it scatters its every ray multiplied a thousand times, to give it a few more moments of warmth. On the green fields, it seems to stroke the grass just once more, giving it a denser green. To the sky, it seems to show the moon its path. To us it seems to promise that it will rise again the next day.
Mamata Bandyopadhyay is a homemaker based in Dubai.