I was on my way home when I saw it. As I drove through the evening traffic, decompressing from a long day of teaching, a bright light caught my eye. Just ahead, the sun was sinking down towards the horizon. The sky was pale blue and perfectly clear–not a single cloud broke the blue dome.
And where the sun touched the horizon, its light leapt out in every direction, turning the bottom of the sky bright orange.
It was as if the sun was struggling to stay in the sky, fighting against the inevitable with all its might. In one last effort, it threw its flames as high as it could reach and set the horizon on fire so its light could shine on ever after.
Finally, the sun was gone. Its head dipped below the horizon, and in a matter of minutes the orange fire in the sky faded back into blue. As the first stars began to wink through the dusk, it struck me that, even though the sun was gone, its light still remained. For it had kindled the stars, who faithfully keep its flames burning through the night. And in the morning when the sun awakes, the stars will pass that fire back to light the sun again and bring back the day.
This was the scene I witnessed. It was a little sad, yet incredibly beautiful at the same time. And it reminded me of one of my favorite words: hope.
True hope that burns bright, no matter how dark the night gets, because its source comes from Another.
So, naturally, I wrote a poem about it, which in turn inspired a song. I decided to give it an Irish Gaelic title, because a) I love the language, so everything sounds better in Irish to me and b) somehow an Irish title just felt most suitable in this case. Plus, I like the way the phrase looks and sounds (in other words, I’m a word nerd in any language).
I’m still working on the song, but here is the poem for your Monday morning reading pleasure:
Luí na Gréine (Sunset)
Whispers of summer;
Long days gone–their time has come.
With heavy heart
I go to my slumber;
Slipping away, I cling to the day.
A tender voice,
Horizon is calling:
“Come to me! O come to me!”
My light shines on,
O keep me from falling.
Let me stay! Bring back the day!
No clouds to comfort me,
No place to rest my head…
To the sky
My last flames I give.
Take the light, and fear not the night!
And may the fire
Hope and courage give
To burn e’er long; remember my song!
Twilight pushes me away,
O why is time so cruel?
Flames of gold
Leap out of the blue,
Fade away with the day;
Then spark the stars,
Who wink at the moon.
Echoes of light shine in the night.
Silver embers fill the sky,
To light the sun once more…