Day 9: Go to Google.com and click on the “Image” link on the top left. This will take you to the image search page. Type two words into the search box, and click on the search button. A bunch of pictures will appear. Choose one of them to use as a writing prompt.
They say, “Red sky at night is a shepherds’ delight but red sky in the morning is a shepherds’ warning.” As a child I always wondered what that saying meant. Sometimes, the sky would be red the night before a storm. Sometimes the morning sky would be red and yet rain followed; I was always confused about the signs a red sky brought.
There was a particular time of the year when the sky would always be orange at night. The most beautiful sunsets in Kingston. I always saw those red sunsets and thought of Negril and what it would be like to witness the setting sun. Negril was my favourite spot on this entire island. But I didnt think of Negril today.
No, today the sky has been red all day, without a drop of rain, without any sign of letting up. Worried doesn’t even begin to describe what’s going on in my head. How can the sky be orange, all day? From sun up to sun down, the sky has been this ominous orange and has grown darker as the day goes on.
I heard panic and dismay in the voices of people I came in contact with.
“Andis one time, there was a ring around de sun. Memba dat day? A cudda swear it was de end back then. But dis,” the man pointed up. “Mi nuh know a wha dis.” He stood under an over-hang from the bank, not too keen on standing out in the open under a sky like this.
“Mommy, why the sky stay so?” a little girl asked her mother.
“Sweetheart, I didn’t know this morning, and I still don’t know now.” Her mother was obviously annoyed with the 21 questions but I understood the little girl’s concern.
“Louise, a wha de sky look like to you?” A woman spoke into her phone.
“Go to a window an look outside nuh.” She beseeched Louise. “Yeah, you see it? It red?” she asked after a couple minutes. It seemed the person on the line didn’t see anything of significance as the woman began to describe the appearance of the day.
“Yes man, orange so till. I cyaa even see de sun. It scary man. How come you nuh see it?”
Now, that was the strangest thing about it. Well, all of it was strange. The orange sky all day, no sun, no rain, and now knowing other people around the world didn’t have an orange sky like we did. What did this even mean? There was no report on this orange sky situation on International News nor did people in other Caribbean Islands experience this phenomenon.
I saw anxiety written across everybody’s face, concern in their eyes, and an eagerness to get off the roads and safely sheltered in their homes. I wondered how long this event will last. Was it a once in a lifetime occurrence or will it be the same or worse come tomorrow morning? As the sky grew darker, a definite blood red, there was a feeling of the proverbial ‘quiet before the storm’.
I decided to watch the local news tonight, something I hadn’t done in months. The reporters gave an overview of everyone’s worries but were unable to provide any tangible explanation or suggestion. I wondered if there was anybody else equally disconcerted with the lack of information about the orange sky on the news. But all I could do really, was hope and pray that come tomorrow morning everything will be returned to normal; there will be no orange sky and no further cause for concern.