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.