For the past several weeks, it’s been raining a lot where I live, and the resulting clouds have made for some very dramatic skies. Whenever the sunrise or sunset is especially colorful, I automatically recite the ancient mariner’s proverb:
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight
Red sky in morning, sailor take warning
That in turn makes me think of the crews working on fishing fleets in the Gulf and sailors aboard the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, and whether this meteorological rhyme is accurate.
I also wonder if the red skies are not some heliacal harbinger, forecasting what is on the horizon for my life. Whether it will be smooth sailing or rough seas. Is it batten down the hatches or full steam ahead?
Once more the ruby-colour’d portal open’d,
Which to his speech did honey passage yield;
Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken’d
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field,
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.”
~ William Shakespeare, Venus and Adonis; 1593