Sunday, February 7, 2010

You don't have to see the sun to enjoy the sunset

Yesterday I went out to take my sunset walk but was running a bit late due to a timely nap. I started walking away from the sun, and after 10 minutes I turned around to face the sunset and to walk home.

By the time I turned around, I'd missed the sun. It was gone behind the trees and the horizon beyond, brightening the days of people further west than here. But the sky was breathtaking. The sun's rays were reflecting pink and purple and the high scattered clouds above me, and the sky in the distance glowed yellow and orange against the bright green palm trees.

Last weekend, at the beach in Malaysia, I really wanted to see the sunset. I insisted that we go down to watch the sunset from the beach, but by the time we got there, the sun had already disappeared behind a cloud which wasn't all the big, but exactly blocked my view of the ball of fire. But for the next half hour we sat on a ledge by the beach, watching the water change colours, the sky changing tones, and the clouds in the distance taking more and more distinct features as the sun reflected on them. Everything was blue and purple, then white and red, then slowly went dark. It was not too shabby, even if we missed the sun.

You don't have the see the sun to enjoy the sunset.

I wonder what else I don't have to see in order to enjoy.

A common mantra is that we don't have to see the wind - in fact we can't see the wind - in order to appreciate the effects it has on things. That gorgeous breeze in my face...

The biggest one is God. I don't have to see God to enjoy his presence, and actually, the Bible makes it pretty clear that I can't see God. If I saw God, I wouldn't be enjoying him anyway, because I'd be dead from the shock.

What about people? Do I have to see them in order to enjoy them? In my transient life, I have very little opportunity to see the people I enjoy the most, but I do still enjoy their friendship. Although I think it'd be better if I could see them more.

Music is best not seen only heard. At least that's my opinion. Some people prefer to watch a concert, I suppose.

I very much enjoy running, moving around, physical activity. That's not something I see. But it's something I do, maybe that's a different category.

Prayer. I shamelessly enjoy the prayers of others, but I never see them - and in that case I don't hear or feel them either. But I know they are there and I enjoy them, and their effect.

I enjoy all the hard work that goes into things like producing good TV shows and films, writing and publishing good books, composing and performing good music. Sometimes I even forget it exists, but I endlessly enjoy its effects.

Similarly, the guy who cleans my room. I don't sit around and watch him cleaning, but I do enjoy the clean room. There are many other services I enjoy without seeing.

Actually, perhaps most of my enjoyment comes from things I don't see. Hadn't really thought of it that way before.

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