I heard some time ago that South Africa has a unique kind of sunset that looks different to almost all others – especially those in the Northern Hemisphere. The reason ours seem so much more splendid is because ours have a magnificent red hue. In fact, one of the most iconic images of South Africa is that of a tree (or giraffe or elephant…) silhouetted against a red sky and a bright yellow sun. The reason for these lovely daily paintings in the sky? Red dust. We have an inordinately large amount of red dust and it floats about in the sky making our cars dirty and turning our sunsets red!
Now, I live in a city. Johannesburg is hardly known for its vast landscapes and endless plains. It’s more like cars, trucks, looming office buildings, and lots of pollution. But because of the number of cars, trucks, taxis, buses… (the list goes on) we get to set in traffic for a really long time. Especially if we travel on a highway or at peak times.
I say “get to”… A lot of people hate traffic with a ferocity that causes cold shivers even on the hottest summer days. But me? Well, I’m strange. I like the anonymity of traffic. It means I get to sing and dance and say hello to total strangers, and then never see them again. Many a soundtrack has been memorised in my car while waiting for the traffic. But there’s another great advantage to sitting in traffic – one that I managed to capture today. Not very well, mind you (hey, I warned you I’m a terrible photographer), but capture it I did.
And this is where we get back to sunsets.
Rays that shoot across the sky in seemingly endless beams. Yellows and pinks and blues and purples and oranges – colours that would look ridiculous together on a painting but somehow look incredible in the sky! Silver lined navy clouds that hint at a cooler night, juxtaposed against white clouds that still have the sun spotlighting them in the great show that is the sunset.
Sitting in traffic tonight for 45 minutes meant a free 45 minute show of one of the greatest spectacles in the world. With a repeat performance every night!
I realise that this series is supposed to be about South Africa and touristing. But I’m quickly realising that it’s simply impossible to see the beauty of this country and not recognise the creator. No one could choreograph anything as grand as the movement of the clouds. No one could paint anything as breath-taking as the sunsets seen each dusk. No one but my Lord.
The heavens declare the glory of God.
Day 3 and I’m learning to love my country a lot more than I ever did before.