You were so still, so intent. Sitting on my lap in a pool that overlooked a majestic view of the ocean several thousand feet above sea level. The last hour had been filled with joy, laugther, & the most innocent play. Bouncing you on-count to lift you high above my head, passing you from Mommie to friends as you sqealed in ecstacy as one of your first prolonged experiences in a body of water (you will turn 20 months in 3 days). You never stopped moving or requesting repeated activities you enjoyed most with one of your favorite words: “Again!”
But now you were still, much more still and tranquil than your persistently active body normally allows as we watched the massive orange sun sink into the ocean. “Look, it’s going away… it’s getting smaller… it’s almost gone,” I said.
You seemed to take it all in, the first awareness you’d ever had of the transition needed to go from light to dark. And this was a most spectacular sunset.
I’d briefly look away from the magnificence to glance at your face, your eyes wide with wonder. I couldn’t help but think I was sharing a moment that would live on in my mind until my last breath. As the sun sank deeper and deeper into the yawning ocean I softly spoke again, “it’s almost gone.” Your eyes stayed fixated on the waning sun.
Then, as the last sliver of sun dipped below the horizon and the silence pervaded the space that was once filled with light, you turned to me and exclaimed, “Again!” I forlornly said to you, “Naiya, I can’t bring the sun the back, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.” You looked confused and said to me again, although without as much enthusiasm, “again.” I looked at you intently, “Naiya, there’s no more sun today, only tomorrow.”
You looked back at the darkening sky where the sun was setting moments ago and whispered, “bye bye sun. Bye bye.” Even though the words you said were so simple, I was filled with emotion. This was not some departure of family where you would mock our vernacular or us asking you to say “bye bye” to something like a marker you had chosen to decorate one of many un-papered surfaces. At this sunset you had witnessed the beauty of nature, realized it could not be brought back, and, in your own way, let it go. Even though you still don’t fully grasp the concept, nor will you for many more years, you became aware of the impermanence that pervades life and made peace with it in your own way.