Saturday, September 6, 2014

Celebrate earth’s rotation in Key West’s Mallory Square

Photo by Bob Krist/Florida Keys News Bureau
             My mom’s favorite time of day is sunset. When we lived in South Florida we would carry our cocktails out on the dock and watch the sky turn brilliant shades of auburn, orange and magenta.
            But we got an earful if we called it a sunset.
            Tom, my physics loving stepfather who had degrees in electrical engineering, used to chide us for such language, insisting the earth was tilting away from the sun and the sun wasn’t moving — or setting — at all.
            He was right, of course, but we still call it sunset. And yet, as I write this blog about Key West’s daily sunset celebration, I can’t help wanting to call it an earth tilting party. Because Tom’s favorite place in the whole world was the Florida Keys, and he left us recently and we imagine him still fishing right off the coast of the southernmost U.S. city.
            In Key West, that eclectic island at the bottom of a long chain of islands known as the Florida Keys, the Atlantic Ocean exists on one side and the Gulf of Mexico graces the other. Key West exists in its own time zone, so to speak, where no one needs an excuse to have a party or a chance to raise a drink in homage. For instance, when the sun appears to be descending into the Gulf of Mexico, it’s time for a celebration.
            Every day at sunset (or earth tilting time) folks gather at Key West’s Mallory Square on the west side of the island and watch what looks like the sun sinking into the water. While the “sun sets” people play music and perform other theatrics (check out the photo of Busker Will Soto juggling on a tightrope) until the last rays of sunlight are visible.
            As the light disappears from the sky, everyone applauds, because the earth’s tilting is indeed a great performance.
            And I’m sure Tom’s out there watching.

1 comment:

  1. I will someday make it to this glorious place but for now I'll just experience it through Chere' Coen's wonderful words