Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Any Western Facing Beach: Reality Check

Despite claims by certain pirates that the green flash is a phenomenon so powerful it can bring Orlando Bloom back to life, the reality of the blaze lacks the luster of its myth. For one thing, the process of witnessing it requires such a carefully calibrated evening that years of western-facing beach-hopping had yet to yield even one sighting. While the green flash can, apparently, be observed from any sunset oriented beach, the following criteria must first be met:
Photo Copyright 2010 to Corey Pargee

1.     1. It is sunset. 

2.      2. It is a clear day.

3.      3. You have consumed the proper amount of rum.

4.      4. You are actually looking towards the setting sun (preferably staring unblinking into it).

One would think that criterion four would be obvious but I can’t count the number of times I’ve stood facing west, lined up shoulder to shoulder with other expectant watchers. We would hold a collective breath, dizzy with the surge of a racing heart, and at the last possible moment I would inevitably turn to someone to say, “Did I ever tell you about the time…” The OOoooo…… trailing away in the voices of those around me let me know I’d missed it once again. That, or entire towns have been playing elaborate practical jokes on me. Blast! Foiled again by my need for more attention. 

I took to telling this story on green flash nights when other travelers would ask what it was like. “I’m not supposed to see it” I’d say, “It would disrupt the natural balance of the universe.” Finally, sick of my tale, a tourist grabbed my face and pointed me at the sun. I saw it, I really did. A tiny green spot where there was once an orange sun. It was not a luminescent blaze rushing out in either direction along the long line of the horizon. More of a green splotch; a green color-shift; a green meh.

1 comment:

  1. What I like about the green flash is precisely the fact that so many people TRY to see it and can't because their expectations are so high. It's just a little change of hue and then, phewww, gone.