Natural beauty

April 22, 2013

I used to be a skeptic when it came to making an event out of watching the sun set. It does this every day. It always has and always will. So why halt everything and take the time to watch it? And ring a bell, clap and cheer as though it will never happen again? Because it won't. Each day we are presented with a new and awesome display of colors and light that will never be repeated.

A combination of worldwide travel and getting older has probably deepened my understanding of natural beauty, but I think that pursuing a career in the arts has helped me to appreciate the significance of living in the moment. Obviously, performing live theatre is all about living in the moment, but in more of a keeping-you-on-your-toes type of way; always trying to be present, but always thinking one step ahead. The constant transitioning from one gig to the next that often goes hand in hand with this career can be overwhelming and destabilizing. But turning that loss of direction into a gain of personal perspective is what made me learn to take each day as it comes.

Every job is a unique experience. You will often work with people you've met, people you know and even people with whom you've previously worked, but in no instance are all elements of a job identical to any other one before or after it. Even if the opera is the same, the production will be different. Even if you've worked at a theatre before, it was with a different cast and crew. Even if the role and production are the same, perhaps the conductor is different. We have the opportunity to create art with new colleagues, take advantage of hidden gems in new cities and, through all of these experiences, discover new information about ourselves.

It is in this way that I've learned to liken this career to a sunset. Every day begins and ends, just as every job begins and ends. Some rehearsals are terrific and some performances are lousy, just as some sunsets are multi-colored and some simply smear the sky with a dull yellow. Sometimes you rehearse twelve hours a day and sometimes you lounge on the beach on a day off, just as the sun may set over a horizon or behind the mountains. Some days are just better than others. But inevitably, you get a fresh start.

So take a deep breath and bask in the splendor that is a sunset. Let it warm your skin and your soul. Remember that it is an experience that unites the world over. Feel privileged that you get to experience such incredible beauty at least once every day. And watch closely, because in a flash, it's gone.

© Leah Edwards 2018