Ailsa suggested we post a photo of a memorable sunset this week. On her blog she has photos of US sunsets in soft lavender, pink and yellow hues: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/08/17/sunset/
The best sunset I’ve ever seen was almost a physical experience. Unlike the US sunsets, this one was a solid ball of gold in an unclouded New Caledonian sky. I had noticed the fiery sun low in the sky, just above the ocean, but before I could become too contemplative, it descended into the water and I couldn’t look away. Only seconds passed from the moment I first saw it to its disappearance below the horizon, as though it had drowned in the sea. I could almost hear a hiss! I stood in confusion, knowing that the earth had moved, not the sun.
I’m currently translating a small book of New Caledonian legends by Claudine Jacques, colourfully illustrated by Papou, so when I saw Ailsa’s suggestion of sunset images I immediately thought of late afternoons in Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia. This Pacific island, not far from the north-eastern coast of Australia, is a French ‘special collectivity’. That is, it used to be a territory colonised by the French from 1854, but now the people are working towards independence and power is gradually being transferred from France to New Caledonia over a 20 year period, looking towards 2018. Unless the French can convince them otherwise.