May there only be enough clouds in your life to make a beautiful sunset.
As I enjoyed night after night of glorious sunset while on vacation, I was reminded of this wish, setting off reminiscences random and old.
This blessing was delivered by a favourite teacher in Grade 3. Actually, he was a student teacher at the time, and he brought such fun and energy to the classroom that he became an instant favourite to us all (perhaps his use of liquorice laces to teach fractions – “would you rather have 5/8 or 3/4?” – helped a lot). The previous year, I had received an autograph book as a gift, and having a lack of famous people in my circle, I used it mostly to collect autographs from friends, family and random folks in my life. When the substitute was leaving, I brought in my autograph book and he wrote the above blessing, a lovely phrase that drifted up from my memory during a beautiful pink-and-purple evening by the lake.
The teacher went on to teach for a few years at my school, including my class for grades 5 and 6, before some enormous clouds overshadowed his life and that whole time for everyone. When this autumn’s sunsets reminded me of his blessing, it was with a strong mix of nostalgia and sadness. That time was a sunset of kind – the end of a period of childhood innocence, clouded by confusion and loss, the colours of shadow or a bruise. There have been other sunsets in my life, but none that felt so helpless.
Thankfully, vacation sunsets are more enjoyable, as they only signal the end of another day of relaxation and fun, with beautiful colours and textures that take my breath away, and the only helpless feeling being, “why can’t I capture the full beauty in a picture?”