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In a quick moment, the air began to cool and I, too, was in need of more layers.

The Green Flash in Action
Photo by Mila Zinkova

There were no green streaks. No green rays glowing and shooting up. Just a quick, green flash.


The Green Flash Bids

Me Farewell

green flash
Photo by Amiteshomar

I was sitting on a lovely terrace in Spain looking out over the Med, trying to grasp exactly where I was. I was picturing myself on the other end of the Google search, zooming away, and away, and further still until Spain was a far away land mass blending with the rest of Europe.

This was like a view from a shuttle on the way to outer space. What if my friends and family could zoom in and see where I was? They could watch me drinking my fresh squeezed orange juice from oranges I had just purchased from the farmer on the roadside.

That is the thought process it took for me to comprehend just how far from “home” I had come. Back in Chicago icicles would be forming on gutters. People would be shoveling snow, maybe. Making coffee. Wearing sweaters and hats and gloves. But I had no need for them in my world.

I was warm on the terrace. And amidst all my pensiveness, time was passing. The sun was making its way down to the sea. In a quick moment, the air began to cool and I, too, was in need of more layers. The easiest thing I found to cover me was a blanket. Wrapping myself in it, I found myself again on the terrace, of course, drawn to its beautiful view.

I fixed my gaze on the big orange ball dropping. The sunset was going to be special, I knew, because the sky and air were crisp and clear. Perhaps I saw a bit of Africa's Riff Mountains. I have seen them before. Or perhaps it was just something like the ridge around Tarifa at Spain's southerly tip.

For the longest time I was curious. I had a certain notion that today would be the day I would see the evading and mysterious Green Flash. When I lived on Anna Maria Island in Florida, I used to will the flash to come. All through the year I was fixated on its arrival. Some had said they had seen it. They said the best way was to count to three as soon as the last bit of orange fell. Over and over again I tried this. But I never saw that Green Flash.

On this particular day, I just stood there watching. I wasn't trying to see it. But maybe I would. I just wanted to see this fiery ball amidst my beautiful surroundings. I stood there, nearly breathless, nearly lifeless from the beating life had been giving me. I closed my eyes and soaked in the last bit of warmth, feeling the cool tiles beneath my feet make their presence known through the blanket I stood on.

Night was coming. Even here it would bring cold. Soon I would have to head for shelter. But not yet. Not before the Green Flash. Its time was approaching. Would I have to count to three? Even as I was wondering, I saw something I don't know if I had seen before. The red ball turned orange as the last sliver was dipping. What was unusual was that around the orange came a golden glow. This glow was pinching up to the tip of the ball, moving its way. As it moved it was changing to a yellow hue.

I knew that the hue that would follow would surely by green. I knew I was about to witness the flash. I think all of this information processed quickly. Because the glow pinched itself to a tiny speck of green, and then came the flash like from a camera. The Green Flash. If it could have been better, I do not know.

What did I have to compare it with? There were no green streaks. No green rays glowing and shooting up. Just a quick, green flash. And that was good enough for me.

Written by Jori Sams

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