Unexpected Sunset

I have always enjoyed the rain, especially a tropical storm in the middle of summer when the rain is warm and a wonderful relief from the heat.  I had been walking around Hoi An’s Old Town in the pouring rain.  I took nothing with me that could be damaged if it got wet, no phone, no notebook, definitely no camera.  I just headed out in the storm with the clothes I was wearing and some cash in my pocket.  As always the locals shout at you to get inside out of the rain, and laugh at the crazy people just going for a stroll as thunder rumbles and the sky lights up with lightning in the distance.  Then something magical happened.

The rain eased. The setting Sun illuminating the clouds overhead. It was an ideal mix of circumstances for a truly beautiful sight.  In an instant the sky exploded with colour. Orange and reds blending and shifting with purple and pinks across the sky canvas.  Vivid colours painted against the still dark storm clouds.  It was one of the most spectacular sunset skies I’ve had the privilege to lay my eyes upon. Its unexpected appearance from within the storm only made it better.  It was a sky that words couldn’t do justice; even a photo would never do the colours true justice. 

I could have run back to my place to get the camera and tripod taking the risk of maybe making it back to the river for a few photos, but I would have missed it the majority of it.  I wasn’t going to miss this moment just for the sake of a photograph.  Of course there are occasions I go in search specifically for photographs, like the sunset you see above taken on Cat Ba Island, where I stood upon the dock and waited for the sun to dip behind the mountains.  I would much rather have memories and stories to tell then a photo to share.  The world is there to be experienced not constantly watched through a view finder or screen. 

The sunset was gorgeous but some people were too caught up looking the wrong way taking selfies they missed the most important aspect of being there in the moment.  There are times to forget everything and just enjoy the fact you’re there. Whether you’re sharing it with others, a lover, or just there with your own thoughts, just be present in the moment.  So I stood on the bridge, watching as the colours shifted and blended, like an artist constantly changing their mind.  Embracing the moment as the colours grew darker and darker still, until they faded to the blue and black of twilight once the Sun finished diving below the horizon. 

The rain began to fall once more, drop by drop getting heavier, again sending people running back to cover.  Yet I stood there and smiled as the rain came down.  What a moment to have witnessed, a brief window in the storm just for the sunset.  I got to experience it from start to finish, because I was there.

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