Once upon a time there was a business consultant that travelled the world every day of every week of every year to follow his path.
When he was young, he loved travelling, but after over 10 years of that routine, he started to even finding the thought of yet another check in queue, delayed flight, angry passenger and 3 am alarms going off disturbing.
That morning his heart was serene, he was going to his favorite destination of them all. He was flying from Dublin to Europe. The destination he liked was not a specific country, it was an experience that he still loved after so many years. When he travelled to mainland Europe, he knew that if the flight was early enough, he would have met the sunrise over the left of his plane keeping him company for those magic minutes, when from darkness, a small speck of light appears to become a soft halo before exploding into a red ball of fire that colours the skies in front of any attentive left window plane passenger.
He craved that feeling every time, it seemed it was the only thing that kept him doing that job he didn’t love anymore and those trips he was starting to hate.
That morning he walked on the plane at 5:20 am full of excitement and anticipation for yet another unparalleled show of beauty, another sunrise from a flying plane, his job’s most loved perk.
When he walked to his window seat, he saw a young Indian girl sitting on his same row on the aisle side. There was something in her eyes that suggested sadness and unrest and he thought, “let me help her, she needs the sunrise more than me” and told the girl “good morning, I am on the window seat, but if you prefer it to your seat feel free to swap with me.”
The girl nodded and with a little smile she moved to the window and thanked him.
He knew what was going to happen soon, and the thought made his heart warm a bit. Wasn’t it beautiful to be able to donate a sunrise to a sad girl to brighten her eyes? He thought that the gesture was romantic and rejoyed of it.
He sat and waited.
The girl appeared to being nervous and alternating from reading something on her phone to look ito a copybook to find something to change in what she had probably written before. She was in pain, he didn’t know what it was but he could see some it.
And then it happened.
From a corner of her eyes, the beautiful red shades of the sunrise distracted her from the mobile phone. She looked up and her eyes were captured. He could see her attention had shot open and her sadness disappeared. Soon after she started taking pictures with her phone to try to capture that eternal beauty, that, for the first time, had met her sight on a plane.
She was happy like a little girl playing in the Indian sun he thought, and his heart was filled with joy for the fact that a little gesture of love had made her forget her reason to be sad. It was pure joy, he thought that he was seeing the sunrise he’d given up for her in her eyes, he was content.
With so much love in his heart he decided to send her a message, to be understood either now or one day in the future, so he turned to her and said “Did you like my beautiful present?”
He was taken aback when he saw that the girl’s eyes were now filled with sadness again. Did he distract her from the beauty of the sun back to her sadness? The thought terrified him. He had spoiled the moment he had helped create and he felt like shit.
She went back to taking pictures of the sun, he let her, because her eyes were newly happy, he would not risk destroying them again.
And then it hit him. He could give more love, a love without a trace of self, a true generous love so he went ahead and did it.
He said to the girl: “do you mind taking a couple of pictures of that beautiful sunrise for me?”. She didn’t hesitate this time and with a smile she reached for his phone. She took it and started pointing it to the sun, making sure she found the right angle and the right timing to try to show the devastating beauty of that sunrise. He watched interested, she was showing love for him, she was trying to give him the best sunrise she could get, he felt so happy.
She handed back the phone with a smile and the consultant looked at the last picture she took, still on the screen and said “Wow, thank you so much for taking this picture for me. Isn’t a sunrise so beautiful? Isn’t the knowledge that there will be another one tomorrow reassuring?” She looked at him with eyes that didn’t know if they had to be happy or sad and said “I love this sunrise, because it reminds me of the sunset of my youth. When I was a young girl I used to go meet my father returning from the sea and help him carry the fish back to our house for my mum to cook. That Kerala sunset on the Indian ocean is what i miss more about my father that is not with me anymore”
The consultant looked at her with a smile and a tear in his eyes and told her “Thank you for sharing your sunset with me, if you are ever sad again, share your sunsets with the people around you, you are giving them joy”