Charles Bridge, an icon in the city of Prague, bears testimony to the residual strength of long-held tyranny. On one particular day, the sun might rise brightly over the metalwork, burning off the morning fog as well as the memories of a strict and stifling political climate. The next day, the fog might briefly hold its own against the sun’s warmth, creating an image of the bridge - and perhaps life itself - that appears sterile and colorless, drawn in shades of gray. And we are thankful that the image is only that: a picture of a moment in time, ephemeral, like the movements of ghosts in ethereal.
As we travel, we become aware that the laws of the natural world apply universally. The simple consistency in the rising and setting of the sun reminds us of our commonalities, rather than our differences. The sun rests at the end of the day in the outer reaches of our world, just as it does at home.
Even so, the sun’s recline can stand out as unusual in any locale. Sitting outside in the rooftop restaurant of a Prague hotel, we witnessed one of those sunsets that etch themselves into memory. As we enjoyed our meal in the evening air, warm despite the day’s drawing closed, the lights in the old town square illuminated shadowy forms, like ghosts of the past. Above, the sky slowly transformed itself under the sun’s sleepy eye. Like a rose blooming, pale pink became scarlet, then lavender, then violet. And we sat, amazed, again, at the wonder of the world, that its beauty can find us wherever we are.