There’s something right about a sunset. The image of a sun descending behind a horizon immediately conjures romantic associations of exotic holidays, coconut cocktails and balmy evenings. A sunset reverberates with the possibilities of a life less ignored, a life lived. ‘In a minute there is time For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.’ A sun, sinking, accepts this. The sun admits that we can plan all we like, but life will happen anyway.
So why am I writing this aggravating, conceptual, poetry-quoting bullshit at you? Because I got a waft of lemon recently on a Saturday afternoon and I was immediately back in Vietnam, drinking lemon juice on the beach. (I know, another SE Asia name drop, what a surprise). But the memory was so vivid that my whole mood changed – old hormones washed back to shore and I was suddenly excited, relaxed, content. And I realised how physically different I am at home, where I’m constantly worried about the future, busy with (well, nothing, really…) and always rushing, constantly rushing, with very little justification. It’s like my life runs to a different, perhaps more dubstep-based theme tune than the reggae-founded sun-induced beat of backpackerism.
My friends say to me that my travels were ‘like a dream’, that they were just a temporary escape. I know. I’m not about to up-tail and run back out of the country. But I think there’s something vital to be captured from the whole spirit of the nomadic that I let go of far too easily. I think it comes down to acceptance. That time will keep on moving, that it should be treasured, not measured.
So today, I am sitting on the beach, and I am watching that goddamn sun go down. Because laundry can wait. Monday is still far away. And life is short and sweet.