Rutilant African Sunsets

rutilant (roo-til-uhnt)


(1) Glowing or glittering with red or gold light

What a magnificent word to describe a sunset. But can a photograph or a string of words actually do this utter beauty of nature any justice?

From Mauritius to Turkey, Indonesia to Zimbabwe, I’m constantly chasing sunsets. Here I find myself sitting amidst the winter breeze wondering what it is exactly about a sunset that whispers so gently to the soul. Is it simply about the people we share these moments with… Is it the proof that endings can be beautiful too… Is it the magic in knowing that each sunset allows for an opportunity for a new sunrise, a chance to begin again… Or is it simply just about watching an absolute marvel 0f nature and its immense capacity to amaze us?


“The sun sank like a golden coin, into the pocket of the earth.”

I may be slightly biased here, so I apologise in advance, but I strongly believe that an African sunset just cannot be beaten. They say that we are born in Africa, but Africa is born in us.

Whether I find myself sitting at the edge of a depleted waterhole in the drought, watching elephants enjoy every drop of precious water or whether I am on a boat in the Indian Ocean, moving with the ebb and flow, fishing rod in hand in anticipation for the next big catch; the stages of a sunset are the one thing that remains the same. First, you start noticing the people around you, the landscape and the light turning golden. What a picturesque moment to capture the authenticity of your loved ones in a moment otherwise tangibly gone. From here on, almost every colour in the spectrum can be noticed. From the warm reds, oranges, yellows that radiate and surround the sun to the majestic blues left behind from the clear afternoon sky. It amazes me how these endless colours fade into each other faultlessly. As the sun continues on its path, the sky is painted with the softest pastel colours; pinks and purples, colours that one never expects to see in the afternoon sky but colours that fit this scene so perfectly.


This now leads into the last phase in the sequence of a sunset, personally my favourite. So easily, many people by now have packed up the picnic, put the drinks away and headed home, but not me. This is when I fall into wonder, back into my dream world once again. Everything around is almost pitch black except the radiant band of illuminating colours across the horizon, only made more dramatic by the silhouette of nearby trees and overhead cloud. This scene is just like that forever, inner burning fire within each and every one of us.

So I urge you, when your world moves too fast and you loose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each colour of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath that you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Gemma says:

    I LOVE sunsets! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gemma, they’re definitely one of my favourite things!


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