On both sides of the trail, hundreds of fireflies sparked to life.
So it turns out not all sunsets are romantic.
My friend Ulises and I made plans to watch the sunset at a dock over the marshes of Palo Verde National Park. The tropical dry forest park encompasses a deciduous forest, marshland, and pasture. Ulises and I walked along the pasture towards the dock, passed by grazing horses and swatted away mosquitoes. However, the sun quickly morphed from blazing yellow to warm pink-orange. We were at risk of losing the sun before reaching the dock. This is where things went south, and we decided to run.
The problem is not that I hate physical activity, but that I don’t like to exert myself. As we ran, my arms flailed forward, and my limbs swung wildly to combat the descending swarm of mosquitoes. Meanwhile, my companion rocketed forward, becoming ever smaller in the distance. The sky was now deep crimson, I was alone, and my friend had the flashlight. Balderdash!
The world quickly became a series of outlines and shadows. One foot clumsily followed the other, kicking aside gravel and stumbling over the larger stones. Something darted across the trail. Perhaps it was an iguana, or perhaps it was a demon. We’ll never know.
I was tempted to stay in one place, but the eerie chirps, screeches, and sounds of cracking branches urged me forward, hoping to find my friend soon. I must confess, I was not completely alone. A cloud of mosquitoes enveloped and accompanied me down the rocky path. Their bites did not really bother me because I was a little preoccupied by the looming danger of the situation.
Then the ground lit up. On both sides of the trail, hundreds of fireflies sparked to life. This may seem cliché – and highly irrational–but it felt like they were cheering me on. Granted, I was still alone in the dark in an unfamiliar forest, but the enchanted dance of the fireflies comforted me. Plot twist: I survived! A few minutes after the bugs lit up, a much brighter light moved towards me on the trail. My friend had finally returned for me, and rescued me from the terrifying sunset experience.