Sun over sea

Sun over sea


With a warm drink in hand, I look out to sea and towards the setting sun. I'm sat on a wooden chair in a grassy garden atop a cliff on the southern side of the Cornwall peninsula.

There's a big golden disc in the sky. And it looks heavenly.

The sun itself is still too bright to look at directly, but great beams of yellow light are radiating from it dramatically. They emanate from the space between the clouds.

The beams seem solid, and powerful. The light creates a form as it's rays reflect off tiny particles floating in the mist filling the air above the sea.

It is an extraordinary sight. Like no sunset I have seen before.

I know where the horizon should be but cannot see it. The dividing line lies somewhere behind a concealing curtain of mist that sits over the waves. The sky and sea are gradients of each other - seamlessly blended - and it seems such a natural way for them to be.

Only at the very bottom of the scene before me, where the sea is closest, are the tiny crests of waves visible. They reflect the last of today's sunlight.

Back over land, swallows and their friends nip between the wind-blown and stunted trees.

I sit and watch as seconds and minutes pass. The sun is growing weaker, turning redder and falling lower.

It has fallen behind the hawthorn at the end of this garden but through it's branches I can still see that it has changed shape. It has developed a straight edge,  showing that it is dropping behind the horizon that still does not exist.

The straight edge rises slowly, wiping out our star and its light...

When the sun is slim and at its reddest, a low and linear cloud takes up its mantle and glows crisp and true.

And as the sun completely vanishes, that linear cloud forms a slash across the sky and seems to illuminate of its own accord.

I turn my attention to the sights and sounds closer by.

To my left, around the headland, I hear waves crashing powerfully against hard cliffs. In my mind's eye, I can see the white tops crashing against the dark rocks before retreating to make way for the next.

To my right, along the coast, I hear the same waves smoothly progress up a shallow beach and gently crest and fall. Each caresses the beach, one after the other.

Summer buzzard

Summer buzzard

The murmurations

The murmurations