Red Sky Warning

The pair of earrings shown here are called “Red Sky.” Sometimes, I also call them “Sailors Delight.” Do you know that rhyme? There are several variations. The one I know goes:

Red sky at night,
Sailors delight
Red sky at dawn,
Sailors be warn’d.

I imagine in the distant past, when our coastal ancestors were more in tune with nature, a village wise woman rises early in the morning. She dresses in the dark then shuffles through night cooled sand to the top of the beach. An ethereal light kisses the sky before the sunrise. She peers out to sea. If the sky is red she will warn that a storm is coming up. The catch won’t be good and maybe, if the fishermen are at all careless, lives might be lost. It’s a warning only the foolish will ignore, though everyone who can will still venture out. Every day matters for this seasonal catch.

She returns to the beach in the dim dusk, hoping for a better day on the morrow. The village was fortunate that no one was lost, but the catch, as expected, was not good. Perhaps most of the fish were wise enough to stay in the far depths where the day’s storm couldn’t reach. This day is done and a new one is on its way. She looks out across the water and sees, to her relief, a brilliand red sky. The storm will not plague the village tomorrow.

This is the red sky my earrings depict. They herald a better day. My work does not celebrate the drama of catastrophe but rather the dawn of a planet that is healthy in all possible ways.

I have seen and been delighted by red skies in both morning and evening skies. I love how these colors shift and dance moment by moment. Sometimes reflected in the water, sometimes reflected from cloud to cloud.

How about you? Which red sky, dawn or dusk, have you seen at the beach? Or do you see something else? For my landlocked friends, what do you associate with a red sky? Please leave your comments below.

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