A Siam Sunset – Siam Summer

I have often talked about how spoiled I was growing up in Colorado and how it is such a place of infinite beauty. My heart will always find a home there and part of that reason is because of the sunsets over the Rockies. It does not happen every night, but on those special nights, there is a magic that happens over those mountains as the color in the sky changes to different kinds of oranges, reds and purples. There is a reason that so many people have a window that frames these mountains, and it is for those moments of intense beauty.

As I have traveled around the world, I have seen many other sunsets that rival the ones I have witnessed in Colorado. They usually fall over the sea, and it is fun watching the sun slowly sink into the horizon over this vast body of water. Though tears may form in my eyes, I just can’t pull away, and I have to watch every moment.

Though it is still beautiful with the light reflecting off of the deep blue of the water, it is still does not have the explosion of color that I get to see on those great sunsets in Colorado. It is still a moment that I look forward to and it is one I have been seeking out all summer because I knew that there must be spectacular ones to see in Thailand.

I think I have found the place where the best sunsets exists and as a man from Colorado, I am sorry to say that it is not along the Front Range. It is on the island of Koh Yao Yai on the southern end of Thailand. It is here that you get to experience the beauty of both moments in a sunset. You get to watch the sun dip below the horizon over the ocean while still experiencing the reflection that the fading daylight has over the cloud hanging over the distant mountains.

I don’t think I have ever seen anything like it in my lifetime. It was stunning and though it only lasted for less than an hour, it is easily my favorite moment so far this summer. I am happy that I did not miss it.

 

Underneath the Mango Tree

As the fading light on the horizon
Sputters out the last of its final glow,
I have found my place to enjoy the sun
Underneath the tree that gives me mango.
I know I can find a cooler respite
In my house with the air conditioning,
But then I would miss the coming of night
For a moment of comforted living.
The brutal heat may wish for me to hide
In the safe seclusion of my cocoon,
But there is more that is offered outside.
I’ll be able to make my retreat soon.
I have made the choice to live with my sweat
As I only will witness this sunset.

The Simple Things in Life – Around the World Day 14

I know I have been writing about beaches a lot lately, but what else am I supposed to do. Everywhere I turn there is a new and more stunning beach than the last one and if I have the option of relaxing on that beach I am going to take it. And since that is all I have really done in the past few days that is all I have to talk about.

And this trip has been talking about a lot of the sites with great historical significance that I have been lucky enough to visit. It is kind of what you do in Europe. By being able to see these places, I gain a better understanding of how the countries of the world are related to each other, and why it is important that everybody understands this perspective because without it, we are heading to a society similar to ancient times where countries had a hard time getting along with each other; thereby, causing a lot of war and destruction among themselves.

It is really easy to get caught up with these cultural moments when you travel. It is part of the reason that we do it. But it is also important to slow down and enjoy other aspects of travel that we sometimes ignore because we want to get in everything we possibly can in the short time that we have there. That is why I took the time last night to grab a small picnic of fresh fruit, good cheese, and some jamon ham and travel up to the lighthouse at the edge of town and watch the sunset. It is doing small little things like this where the stories start to emerge.

Now, I am not saying that this is a unique idea. Many people go out to the lighthouse to watch the sunset. It is one of the attractions of Lagos. If you ever find yourself here, and want to do this, I would recommend going out early to stake out your place because even though there are many to chose from out there, the good one get snatched up quickly. Make sure you bring a good bottle of wine with you; they are easy to find because there are many to choose from in Portugal, and most of them are rather inexpensive as long as you stick to the ones made out here. This way you can enjoy the company of the one you brought with you and just revel in the moment.

We still had a few visitors, and one of them even wanted to join us in our picnic dinner. Who knew that cats loved fresh mango so much? And even though this could have been an awkward moment, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would. He left soon after he found out that we were going to give into his requests to go look for better prospects, but it was still fun to have him join us for such a short period of time.

And eventually we got to enjoy the sunset. At this time of the year, it does not set over the ocean, but it was still a spectacular sight. It is moments like this that allows me to reflect on how lucky my life has been. I have seen sunsets over many different locations over the world from the oceans of Boracay to the beaches of Oregon, from the plains of the Serengeti to the mountains of the Rocky Mountains. I do think it is important that we put aside the petty bickering and fighting that we often tangle ourselves in so we can enjoy these smaller moments in life. When you find those small moments they start to seem more important than all of that rush that we subject ourselves to. I am glad to have gotten to witness the sunset at this new location, and I can’t wait to see where the next spectacular one will be.

(By the way, J.J. Abrams would be proud. Lens-flares.)