Sun and Moon (Again)

As an earthling not into natural sciences, I have very limited view of sun and moon although I am very much fascinated by these two heavenly bodies. And I am also fascinated to see them from higher altitude.

I remember my first plane ride two decades ago, bound for Hong Kong, at around 5pm. I was blessed to have witnessed sunset while up in the air. “Awesome” is an understatement. I could still see in my mind the vivid colors of the sky: the seemingly black horizon looked like covered by the blue sea, what with the indigo layer of light above it. Then a yellow layer lied above the blue, with the red one finally  capping the view. It was like a four-color rainbow stretched over  sky. I tried painting this scene in watercolor but nah, I could never be as good as its Creator.

Had I had a camera then, would have I captured the celestial beauty? It would depend on the camera’s capability, as well as mine. Below are my couple of recent attempts:

2010 July 14 sunset and moonrise over Los Angeles

2010 July 30 sunrise over Rizal

What I tried but failed to capture in a photo  was the sky at night, from 36,000 feet, all 15 hours of it! Imagine this: look below and you see cotton-like clouds covering the entire earth; look up and you see myriads of stars shining oh so brightly in the darkness of infinity. I am not sure though if how many of the 500 or so passengers at that time saw what I did. Or, how many actually bothered to look outside? Or, how many appreciate the wonder and beauty of the universe?

It was the first time (or was it just MY first time?) the airline allowed the passengers to keep their window shade up the whole time. Serendipitously, too, I was given a window seat. Upon check-in the airline staff asked me my preference. I said aisle, for convenience if I need to go. Minutes later, he apologized for not remembering what I wanted so he asked me again. This time, I said I really didn’t care–I’d take whatever he’d give me. So there, I was given a window seat.

(Insight: In life, maybe all we need to do is to surrender, to trust in the Big Hand…we might not get what we want, sometimes in exchange for the better alternative.)

One would not see the view outside the window at night while the lights in the aircraft were on. So when they were turned off after supper, that’s the only time I saw the greatness that was just there all along. Ironically, now that I had a camera with me, I could not take a photo because it was too dark. After being mesmerized for quite a while, i fell asleep. With my window shade up.

(Insight: In life, tough times make us realize and/or appreciate the good things that we have. Unfortunately, sometimes, only during tough times do we appreciate them.)

I must have been in the dreamland when all of a sudden I was awaken by a warm feeling on my arm and cheek. I looked out again. Ahh! It was the moon shedding its light on me. The moon in its fullness, or so it seemed (July 28 or 30–I didn’t know what time zone I was then–wasn’t a moon day). I really wish I could capture this experience if not in words, at least, in photos. A friend suggested that I paint my window view but nah, I could never be as good as its Creator.

Sad, but when I looked around, all passengers within my sight sitting next to window had pulled down the shades. I wonder, didn’t they like moonlight? Or didn’t they see the moon that’s why they just shut the window?

(Insight: The moon must be saying then “one cannot please everybody”.)

I got indeed a different kind of high from this experience (pun intended).



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