Of the Sea and Sky

I spent a lot of time watching the water while crossing the Atlantic. While the novelty of the many diversions featured on the boat faded, the sea never failed to captivate. From the roiling grey of the North Atlantic to the glassy blue of the Caribbean it's impossible to not feel pulled in by the oceans chaotic permanence. Changing every second, no pattern ever truly repeated, yet always the same. Hour by hour the only true change comes fro the slow interplay between sea and sky.

When the Sun begins to sink the reddening sky melds the borders of water and the air. The horizon turns into one seamless work of staggering beauty. The crimson light of the dying Sun is reflected off the crest of each wave that rises before it, creating on the water an ever shifting and shimmering avenue of flame. But, slowly the Sun disappears. The road of fire goes out, and the blue drains from the sky. Then the sea can be more heard then seen. A dull rhythmic rumble that tells it still carries on in it's perpetual dance. The only ocean visible is far off, near the horizon, under the light of the moon. At sea the moon does not merely shine as it does in the city, but blazes and under that light a distant patch of sea is transformed into a shining pool of molten silver.

But more beautiful is the night after the moon has set. When the sky truly comes alive, set to life by the stars. They blanket the heavens. A handful of brilliant points set against a numberless expanse of more distant lights.  One can see why the ancients were so captivated. How right they were to make the stars a central part of their life, to fill them with myth and import, and how great is our loss at shutting ourselves away from them.

Then there is the dawn. Slowly, gently the stars are overcome in waves of yellow and gold. The day is felt not as a time but as a thing. A liquid that washes over the skies and drowns the stars in light. All but one. The Morningstar shines, and upon seeing it's singular beauty it is easy to see why it was assigned to Venus. Then, as the day grows and still it persists in the doomed struggle to shine against the coming Sun it becomes clear why it was ascribed also to Lucifer.

At last the day returns and once again the full expanse of the sea can be seen. It is as it always is. Different then it's ever been before.