Hualin Essay: Burn the West Sky with Red Flame like Sunset

In the Tanzanian inland rural areas such as at Dakawa, Morogoro, I often watch the sunset scene in the west skyline. Perhaps due to the middle-old age, perhaps due to the vicissitudes of life experience, nowadays, I will have a sense of inexplicable emotion when I see the magnificent sunset, the blood red sunset.


Having special attention to the sunset, I have shot photos of the sunset, written the essay on the sunset for countless times these years.


Every time when I saw the sunset, there would be the impulse for me to shoot photos of it. The scene of the sunset often makes people touched. As you can see, at the moment of dusk, the sun is setting in the west, with fantastic scenery, with poetic and picturesque impression.


Two days ago, near dusk time, across the paddy field and facing the chicken house in our demo centre, I took a group of landscape photos of the setting slowly towards the west mountain line. Examining this group of pictures, you can see the orange sunset, the blood-red halo, and the dark scene, reflected in the water of the paddy fields, very beautiful, they constitute a watercolor tone of the screen, by inducing out the inspiration of the impressionism school.


Ah, look at the screen of magnificent sunset, look at the colorful pink clouds, look at the fantasy intoxicating scenes, how can you not praise them? I used write a poetic sentence: the sunset is red at dusk; the west sky is beautiful with evening pink clouds.


People like the youth in their prime, like the morning sun in its vibrant state. Of course, people will also praise the sunset; they will say that sunset is infinite good. However, they will also add one comment: what a pity the sunset is near dusk. For the sunset, there is even harsher point of view, that is: the sun is setting down the west hill, with weak breath of dying. There is sadder poem which makes people cry: facing the sunset, the heartbroken traveler is isolated in the End of the World. Sunset, so sad! This situation can only be interpreted by Li Zhaoqing’s well-known graceful poem:

looking and seeking, stay lonely, desolately miserable.

At moment when it seems turn warm again but still cold, that is the most difficult for me to make my heart rest.

With two or three cups of light wine, how can I stand with the late coming strong wind?

The wild goose have passed and gone, what the saddest for me is that the birds are my old acquaintance.

The fallen chrysanthemums piled up everywhere, haggard loss, now which of them are worthy for picking?

Stay at the window, how black alone?

Indus leave are falling, even with the drizzle rain, bit by bit towards the dusk.

Faced with such situation, my feeling can only be interpreted by one word, how sad!’


Is the sunset scene really so sad? Actually, it is not all the case. In my opinion, it is not the case. Although I also like the morning sun at 8:00 a.m. or 9:00 a.m., also like the young people in their prime, also like the vibrant scene with all things awake at dawn, I still extraordinarily love the scenery of sunset.


Frankly speaking, I particularly appreciate the saying ‘the most beautiful thing is sunset red’. The color of sunset is of vicissitude red, of brilliant red, of tragic red. The red color, the sunset, gives such impression: the afterglow of sunset makes the west sky fully red, while the halo diffuses between the clouds.


As far as the sunset impression is concerned, people will describe in such way: at dusk, a sunset, bloody romance, issued its final flame; the entire west sky line is burning with fresh red hue.


The burning sun has painted a few brush of stunning color on the west sky. Looking at such a beautiful sunset, I can not help with my impulse of poetic writing:

At dusk,

in the twilight,

the sunset will be over,

with a dream of pink clouds.



When one sigh with the approaching old age, by watching the sunset down towards the west horizon, naturally, there will be a different kind of feelings a different kind of reverie in his thought. India poet Tagore said: ‘let our life be vivid as the gorgeous of summer flowers, our death be quiet as the beauty of autumn leaves.’ This is the realm of life; this is the true meaning of life.’ The western going sunset, so calm, so poignant, gives the same philosophy as the beauty of autumn leaves.


As to our middle old aged people, although we have the feeling that life be going to an end, although we are in the situation as if the evening will come soon, we shall still have the momentum of sunset, bursting out our final flame, emitting our final fervent, burn the western sky thoroughly with fresh red hue. We shall have the spirit of the famous Cao Cao of the Three Kingdoms, he wrote in his poem:

Though the tortoise has a life, it still has an end;

the flying dragon show off in fog, finally he will turn into ashes.

The old horse lies at stable, still aiming at thousands of miles;

no matter the hero is old, his ambition is endless.

The period for win or loss, not only depends on the heaven; t

he blessing of health, makes one a long life.

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