Monday, December 14, 2009

turn on the green flash

Before there was a Captain Jack Sparrow.

Before there was
At World´s End.

There was the quest for the Green Flash.

Like most heroic sagas, its origin plays hide and seek with the fog of my memory.

My favorite theory (and the only one I can conjure up these days) is that I heard of the Green Flash in a National Geographic story about Key West. The accompanying photograph showed a crowd -- each person with the expectant gaze of religious pilgrims. As if some apparition was going to show up as a tropical projection.

In a sense, it was. They were all waiting, on the outside chance, that they would see the Green Flash.

For all of the romance attached to it, the Green Flash is nothing more than light refraction.

If conditions are just right, as the last portion of the sun slips below the sea´s horizon, for one brief magic moment, that crumb of the sun seems to turn green. For less than a second. For a mere -- flash.

In my years of sailing, cruising, and living on or near oceans and seas, I have seen the Green Flash only a few times. Once, on a cruise off the coast of Namibia. At dinner with my friends Roy and Nancy in a restaurant on the Oregon coast. And, now, three days in a row on the beach of Villa Obregon.

Is it a talisman? Of course not. That would be superstitious twaddle.

Is my life better for seeing it? I think so. At least, in the sense that it reenforces the drive to see magic in every day.

And for at least a few more months, I can continue that quest on the beach of my small fishing village.

Jack Sparrow could not wish more.


Irene said...

Whenever I go to the coast, if the weather is clear I sit and watch the sunset and hope this time I will see a green flash. Hasn't happened yet but I won't stop trying. So far the best I have seen over the ocean is a rainbow that seemed like a gateway to another sky.

sparks_mex said...

There are some amazing fotos of the Green Flash out there (don't remember where) ... but it was on the Mexican West coast

Can't say I've seen one

Nita said...

I haven't seen the green flash, but I just enjoyed your writing about it.

Chrissy y Keith said...

Keith and I finally got to see one in Te'acopan, Sin, Mexico March 2007.

Anonymous said...

I grew up on the Northern California coast, just south of San Francisco. At the age of about 13, I first heard about the green flash. My friend suggested it happened every night, and you just had to be attentive to see it.

I never did, though the thought resided in the back of my mind, like a long-dormant virus.

Now, reading your blog gives me hope that someday I will see it. Of course, I'll first have to get back to the West Coast. Of somewhere.

Meanwhile, I'll enjoy your ramblings, and wish you luck in your move.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where perchance we'll see an orange flash at sunrise. Or not.