200909-img_4521

Many of my favourite skywatch moments this year have taken place with my dad.

200909-img_4509

Since I came back to Niger after summer, we’ve been riding out just about every weekend, discovering new places and enjoying the expanse and change of scenery.

200910-dscn4665

There’s something about the Niger sky that just speaks right into my heart.

200910-dscn4671

My mother grew up loving the sea, and I grew up loving the horizon.

200910-dscn4675

Add a few sorghum stalks to that,

200910-dscn4673

and you have a perfect skywatch!

200910-dscn4692

Although I’ve been riding in the Zinder bush for years now, my father still finds tracks I’ve never been to before.

200910-dscn4669

Passing the airfield where my mother was evacuated,

200910-dscn4678

and riding into the unknown.

200910-dscn4697

Our Niger barbs love discovering new grounds and Arwen is my faithful mount.

200910-dscn4690

From October on, the sunsets turn golden.

200910-dscn4702

Set against the ancient rocks,

200910-dscn4715

…the Zinder sun canvases are breathtakingly beautiful.

200910-dscn4705

The Zinder bush offers a vast variety of scenery. Personally, I am drawn to sandy paths (with the possibility to fly in full gallop), while my father is drawn to rocky areas with Africa’s hard red soil.

200910-dscn4726

Here, galloping would be treacherous for the horses, but an inspired ambling is all it takes to cover a large amount of terrain in one day and we both love exploring.

200910-dscn4736

The beautiful sunsets are part of our rides.

200910-dscn4738

Heat is the only obstacle, and so we keep riding until the sun goes down.

200910-dscn4740

The horses always find their way back and you see well in the dark, even when there is no moon. Starlight is a fascinating concept; a benefit that is lost only when civilization colonizes nature.

200910-dscn4744

Of all the sunsets I have experienced with my dad,

200910-dscn4743

I could not tell you which one is my favourite.

200910-dscn4846

Of all the places I have discovered in the bush,

200910-dscn4849

I could not tell you which one is my favourite, for there are many.

200910-dscn4856

Of all the moments and adventures I’ve shared with my dad,

200910-dscn4865

…I could not tell you which one is my favourite either, for they are all equally precious.

200910-dscn4885

There is so much light in the world, and all we need is to stop and look at it.

200910-dscn4884

There is so much love in this world, and all we need is to embrace it.

200910-dscn4889

I can never be afraid of the darkness, because I know that light and love overcomes everything.

200910-dscn4890

Every time the sun sets for the day, I hear the song of my heart, which sings of joy and gratitude, of love and treasured moments.

I am loved.

I am at peace.

I am blessed.

Every sunset reminds me of that. I could not be more grateful.

For more sunsets around the world, visit Skywatch!