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Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Green Flash!

So you know about The Green Flash? Sometimes, very rarely, at the moment that the sun slips behind the horizon, you can see this split-second moment of refracted light as the disc vanishes: a little burst of green light. It happens I think only at the seaside, and it’s this quasi-legendary thing that I never really believed in until a few years ago, when Uzee saw it in Malaysia. I was looking at her at the moment, so I saw the flash reflected in her glasses, no kidding.

I had never seen it directly for myself. But then last week, as we were driving home at sunset, we rounded a corner on the hill leading to our house and suddenly there was this vista of ocean and sunset, the sun already half-vanished behind the horizon, a perfect semicircle sitting perched at the edge of the world. So we stopped, right there in the middle of the road, and watched at it slid further down. Hoping no cars would come roaring around the bend behind us. Okay, not the smartest thing in the world, but the view was spectacular, even for Hawai'i, which has no shortage of spectacular views.

I had no camera, which was fine, but it does mean that the photo below is of a different sunset and is included only to give some vague sense of things:

And then just as the sun dipped out of sight and a car did in fact come around the bend and quickly stop before ramming us, what did we see? THE GREEN FLASH! No kidding. Ding!—there it was, and then it was gone, just that fast.

We were tremendously excited and turned up into our driveway and home.

Of such little moments are wonders made.

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