A Short Essay: Another Sunset
“It’s almost impossible to watch a sunset and not dream,” as said by Bern Williams.
Over a hundred miles away from Los Angeles here I am dreaming, enjoying the solitude of the high desert wasteland of Kernville, CA. We visit the area every year for a family camping trip. Although I’m not taken for the outdoorsy type, I enjoy the opportunity to disconnect from the daily stress of life. It’s an opportunity to unplug, to get away from the inundation of our always-on world.
The surrounding area is desolate, filled with cacti, brush, and the semi-frequent jackrabbit that is there to remind you of the surrounding animals whose kingdom you have called home for the night.
This may be their world but together we share the same experience of the daily rituals of the sky. The phases of sunrise and sunset, where the sun gets replaced by the moon — the constant to remind us of the sacredness of life.
I’ve learned that life isn’t so trivial, it’s quite gorgeous and simplistic. We are bombarded constantly with what to think and feel instead of trusting what really is.
We aren’t acutely aware of life’s beauty which is hidden during our day to day experiences, especially for those trapped in the city limits. It’s only when we can escape to nature does life truly reveal itself, in its immaculate entirety. At that moment it’s as if nothing else matters besides the connection that naturally occurs.
Staring out beyond the mountains and watching the sun slowly disappear, I become present enough to not only realize but also appreciate the symbolism of the sunset.
Out of all the days in the year, this one is particularly special — not because of any personal event or moment, but it’s in this time here that this particular sunset made me aware of the simplicity and beauty of life. The most gorgeous and stunning piece of art or painting isn’t conceived from the hands of man but instead is a daily creation of the sun when it sets to say goodbye to the day.
Life is both as simple and as beautiful as every sunset while also being as delicate and as sacred.
It’s the simple things that go overlooked. Often we look at the sunset while we’re thinking about something else, never allowing ourselves to take the moment in. It pays to be mindful of the charm; you can’t ignore any aspect of life because it can be taken at any moment. Cherish every moment, particularly the sunsets.
There’s no such thing as an ugly sunset — at the same time, there’s no such as an ugly life. The divine configuration of beauty is everywhere, you just have to look. Each day we are given the gift of both light and breathe, those are things we never have to search for. Every day there’s a sunset but it takes the conscious action of looking to render its existence.
We define our life based on the days which are as unique as the sunrises and sunsets that open and close them. Every day we’re given another opportunity to use the moments in-between to the best of our ability. And when the clock is up, the sun fades into the background to be replaced by the moon which shines brightly to remind us of our light.
The days become weeks, and the weeks become months, then months turn into years. After it all, we look back to notice the commonality between the days and years and how the sunset, each in its own right beautiful and different, has helped transform us to be better people.
When we look out into the sun, the sunset is our reminder that yes indeed everything will be alright. As it disappears, so do our problems of the day — as it reappears a brand new — it’s a new opportunity to become a better you.
And at the end of the day — we’re always given the chance to start over again.
To live for another sunset.