Highland’s Central Park from a window at Sunset

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The pleasure of a winter day’s sunset, how simplistic yet powerfully fulfilling. Setting one’s gaze ‘cross the horizon and watching interplays of light scattering and scurrying to and fro; creating, changing, and alternating; giving, adding, and filling; detracting, diminishing, and simplifying the hue, texture, and the countenance of all things underneath the cloud-covered baby blue skies.

And the sky itself is not immune to transformation in the waning hours of an afternoon, shedding off its calm and resplendent brightness, so alluring and convincingly assuring; and immersing itself into the cold and seemingly distant and threatening guise of Night. And even then at the peak of danger and imminent peril, how satisfyingly passive it provides with glimpses of distant worlds. Of fantastic foreign sunsets, of unimaginable twilights, of surreal combinations of hue and spectrum strewn about on heaven’s high.

The peacefulness accompanied by a day’s departure, the paramount Natural stillness, and sublime pulchritude reflected out of all participating living things. The leave-less trees bare and exposed to the harshness of the elements, to the whipping winds and drenching rains, take time off their annual calamities to enjoy and bask in the last rays of sunshine, before Helios moves on with his tightly regimented journey ‘cross the turning globe.

The birds, whose chirping voices earlier provided the background with unintelligible chatter become quieted, muffled by the silent motions of their changing surroundings. And it is then that one by one as the hours of dread come marching westward with gaining speed; they retire to their modest chambers amidst the hollow apertures of trees or brushes, relegated into a defensive and self-preserving behavior whose only goal is the view of yet another sunrise, and all the opportunities thus provided.

The diverse range of scattered critters look with anticipation as the last signs of a day’s life portend the coming time and reign of Cold Night; their hours of Bachian jubilee forthcoming, dinner waiting to be found, a day’s work just commencing, it’s challenges yet unknown and unannounced.

And humans too become as much participants as spectators of this unfolding drama, occurring in their midst. Lone and separate groups of individuals walk along paved paths across the fictitious and fabricated plaza. They move hurriedly past the fixated pose and stare of standing and admiring children, whom they too look westward as witnesses of this recurring spectacle. The benches which surround them sit cold and unattended, as the shadows of coming Night threaten to engulf them, and the lights from surrounding posts valiantly declare and promise them shield and shelter from Darkness’s menacing appetite.

The surrounding buildings become lit from both within and without, as their inhabitants faithfully and almost ritually take to scientifically inverting and swaying back the natural process of twilight and proceeding Darkness which accompanies Dusk side by side. It is that within their own separate microcosms they turn the laws of nature Topsy-turvy and as smaller gods, by command bring forth light, water, and electricity. It is thus that their lives continue somewhat unaffected, though not entirely unscathed. For even they cannot muster the mechanical, technological, or scientific power to undo and unwind the natural inner processes which begin to take place at the first sign of Moonlight. And it is that despite all will and strong sense of perseverance, their simulacra must too come to wraps, as they succumb to the natural workings of their own and quiet environment, and fare well to another day’s journey; leaving behind no sense or notion of life, but rather quiet and almost moribund silence and solitude.

Written by Gustavo Rocha.