Okay, I promise the Mother Abbess, “Climb Every Mountain” theme this week is unintentional…Anyways:
The lights dimmed on the boat as it swept silently through familiar waves. It was quieter than usual; most of us sat solitarily, at least a comfortable few seats apart. A lone couple was mashed together at the front, but other than that, we kept to ourselves, heading silently away from the action.
As the SeaBus pulled away from the harbor and the lights went down, the colors of the receding city brightened and bobbed steadily farther from our drift. Yet in our quiet darkness, lights began to streak and flash and tumble in the sky as the show we were missing found us in a different way.
The view was clear in the darkness, and the uncommon silence of the fireworks was at once calming and surreal. There were no boom’s or pre-warnings, no crackle of fading sparks; only a delightfully haunting feeling of visual madness without auditory ruckus. We had the beat seats in the house.
The thrill of such simple fascination caused a delighted smile to land on my face as the show danced across my eyes. All of us in the seats facing the back of the ship were in on the secret, grinning and gazing at the city, trying to soundlessly coax the strangers facing the front to turn around.
One man, in particular, happened to be just next to where I was looking out the window, and tried to uncomfortably ignore what he must have thought was a strange girl shamelessly staring at him. But my gaze coaxed him, begged him to turn and see what he was only 180 degrees away from.
Sparks flashed more intensely in the sky he had his back to, and in a burst of realization he turned just in time to see gold orbs pulse and drift noiselessly in the distance; a siren begging for attention, a hello to humanity.
It made me think. Maybe there’s more out there that we’re so close to, but just not noticing. Maybe all we’ve been searching for is what we’ve got our backs too. Sometimes there are goofy stares and fireworks that make you turn around, but most of the time we dismiss the signs. I mean, why crane your neck, why move from a comfortable position if you don’t have to?
But I realized, then, that even if the man had turned around to nothing more than black sky, he wouldn’t have been any worse off. In fact, he’d have been all the better for it. For only once we’ve turned in circles, stared up at the sky, and down to our feet; only once we’ve tilted ourselves sideways and searched all around can we move on knowing we’ve missed nothing.
The man turned back once more to face me with a smile on his face and a nod of understanding before he went to grab a seat facing the show.
Yep, it’s a funny thing this life. You never know what you are going to learn or see once you spin around a bit and shake off the dust. Just don’t forget to turn back and thank whoever helped you to see the beauty in seeing in a new light.
Just for context: The SeaBus