A Sunset View from Table Mountain

The sun travels further across the horizon and I always want to follow it. Keep the sun on your face and the wind on your back. 

In her celestial path, the sun leads us in circles – always traversing, bringing the dawn and the dusk. But today, I’ve come to the edge of the earth and the only thing left to do is let her sink out of sight.

I stare into the blue of the ocean, the afterglow of the sun, the shadowed mountains of the Cape Peninsula. A blood-red separates the blues. My contentment is compromised by a nagging urge to follow the sun on its nautical voyage westward.

But I remind myself of the derivative moments of life’s journey. We are constantly becoming, never finishing this process that is anything but linear. Still, along the way we reach paradoxical moments of self-conclusiveness.

Today, the sun sets in a momentous display of cloud and color. She is powerful and irreproachable. Before disappearing with finality, the sun spills her radiance across the horizon, leaving a trail of daylight for those of us she has left behind. 

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At the edge of humanity

John Muir taught me that the lessons of pure nature are best learned from the edge of a cliff. In his constant goal to learn from the presentation of God in the Yosemite valley, he is perpetually drawn to the heightened cliffs, waterfalls, summits – further from the path, from sanity. Step by step, he approaches the drop. His human tendency tightens his heart and beckons his return to safety. He reaches a point of fear, and takes another step further. Fear, and then another step.

A step further, and all that was learned will be sacrificed to the force of the Teacher. He stops with complete faith in the stone beneath his feet. 

Stories of Muir’s riding avalanches and braving mountaintop storms have taught me that he might not serve as the best role model. Yet I venture slightly off the path – atop wind-shaped stone, in the air of a darkening dusk. At the edge of our humanity, God shows us where we belong in His Creation. 

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