There is something undeniably magical and God-like about sunsets. I don’t care who you are. Everybody loves a sunset. It just so happens that in a tiny town, on a tiny island, in a tiny country far away, the most infamous of all sunsets can be found. Thousands come from all over the globe to visit the picturesque town of Oia, set high atop Santorini’s cliffs, Greece’s most visited island in the Cyclades. This sunset is not just something a few passerby’s stop to admire and capture; it is an event. Every single night.
Never have I seen the sun so overwhelmingly massive and close up, encroaching on us as if it’s about to swallow the world whole. This morning’s bright blue sky and sea now dripping in gold. The hustle and bustle of Oia’s quaint marble street shops and overlooking seaside restaurants goes silent; villagers and tourists alike stop in their tracks, haulting with baited breath to observe this majestic display of nature. The famous windmill is a favorite spot to watch the sun’s performance, although I believe that Meg and I have the best seat in the house sitting atop Mimaw’s roof (see previous post), basking in the evervescent glow of the sun as she drapes this tiny island in her most glorious and extravagant silk.
A public terrace nearby plays Charriots of Fire (it's all very dramatic) as the galaxy’s most brilliant star is coming to her final piece, shooting gold, orange, pink, and purple hues out across the sky. The Aegean Sea, hers to own, held captivatingly blue by daylight, is now set afire with swirls of warmth, a giant looking glass for her to observe herself in. When the sun has finally danced her last number, bowing behind the mountains over the blazened sea, the entire village erupts in cheers and claps, begging this great performer for an encore that no amount of claps can bring. This happens every night, 365 days a year, and each time is like the first time no matter how many of her dances you’ve witnessed.
You simply cannot watch this sunset without being a very part of it. My eyes hold her gaze as she pulls me into her while pouring herself into me, overflowing my swelling soul with all the beauty and wonder that our humanness cannot hold. Standing atop that white cement roof, drenched in otherworldly colors and wonder, I feel smaller than I ever have, yet stretched to capacity and larger than life, holding on to as much of this universe that my little heart can grasp. And I can’t help but wonder if this great performer notices us at all from her grande stage and why she graces this tiny island with the very best she has to give. There is something in the way she sets the entire sky and sea afire with passion in this particular spot, and I know that this tiny island holds something special above the rest of the world in her eyes. She goes on to set elsewhere each night for those who pass by without noticing her elegance and beauty, monotonously fulfilling her duty, but she must adore this praise, this place, these people. Proudly shining larger and brighter for them, bowing as gracefully and majestically as possible for these loyal and appreciative fans, waiting in anticipation each and every day until she can dance for them again.
Finally, she bows with a blushing glow, sending fireworks shooting across the sky, disappearing behind the distant and abandoned island, relishing in the uproar of praise that follows her exit. Awaiting the next 24 hours with anticipation and adrenaline to again perform for her favorite place in the world.