When the invitation of a sundowner arrived, I felt apprehensive.
I didn’t even know what the word sundowner meant. I quickly turned round to ask my husband, who was busy playing the computer game. “Just getting together in the evening,” he replied without making eye contact.
“Does it mean we are going to watch the sun go down, together? If so, how do you know what time the sun is going to go down?” I was getting a bit confused, but the poetic feel of appreciating the sun going down on the horizon was appealing, or, rather romantic.
The only danger of writing this community website is that I can’t hide for too long. Slowly I’m forced to break out of my shell. I was going to meet my online friends, whose company I’ve grown to enjoy, whose friendship I embrace, and with whom I have grown to trust and like. They have inspired, guided and challenged me. They have watched me and examined my writing online for months. Now we were about to meet. I was scared.
It’s always wise not to meet your online friends for the first time alone. My husband came along too.
Online publishing involves a great deal of openness. You allow your personality to shine through your words. While you are brave to be seen, you are also showing your vulnerability.
I’m curious and have striven to connect with people in the community, to know what they do and what they think, and to know their view of the world. I’ve longed for genuine discussions about life and passion. I want to know how openness can overcome sex, age and the colour of our skin.
Of course meeting up carries the risk of disappointment. What if your online identity disagrees with your real-life presence? What if you or your partner becomes an embarrassment?
Luckily we had a warm, pleasant get-together. Gorgeous food and good company. I forgot to notice the time that the sun went down in Chandler’s Ford on that beautiful April evening. We made a few new friends.
From sun down to full moon
While you don’t necessarily marvel at the sunset together with a sundowner, you can certainly gaze at the full moon during the Mid Autumn Festival, on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. In 2014, the Mid Autumn Festival falls on September the 8th.
On this day, the full moon is bright and clear. It is traditionally a day of reunion with family and your loved ones. Just imagine the purity of happiness: gazing at the full moon on the pleasant autumn evening together, sharing mooncakes and tea.
The moon knows your longing too. Though you may be miles apart from your loved ones, on this day, as the poet Su Shi wrote in this poem Shui diao ge tou, you are still able to convey your love through the graceful moonlight.