As part of an exercise devised by my daughter Amy called
“Thirty Days of Yes”
based on the book of my daughter Anna called
“Living the Deeper Yes”
I was supposed to witness a sunset, ideally outside with my feet planted on the ground, paying attention and my heart open to this event. I calculate that as of today this is an event that has occurred 30,507 times in my life. I wonder to how many over that time I have given my undivided attention. Spectacular color is the herald that most often draws me as does a fairly unbroken horizon, like at the seaside.
Where I now live the western horizon is pretty much obscured by trees. These days the sun sets about seven p.m., a time I am often in the Courtyard Dining Room eating dinner. Suffice it so say, I have not been successful at this task for a great many of the allotted 30 days. And so, I decided that since today was a glorious day with autumn sunshine and clear blue skies, this would be my sunset watching day.
Except life intervened. It was necessary for me to drive daughter Anna to the airport arriving at about, you guessed it, seven p.m. But I was determined and as we drove south I was relieved to realize we would be passing some farm fields with a pretty unobstructed view to the west. Indeed, for a brief time the sun, a huge golden globe hung just above the horizon in a yellow sky. I glimpsed it again when only the top sixth remained and by then the surrounding sky had darkened to a burnished gold.
As I swung the car east toward the airport, a section of bluish sky just above the horizon turned a delicate pink. In mountain country those long red rays of the setting sun already below the horizon enliven the mountains to the east. And if they are snow capped, the snow then turns rosy. My Grandfather called this “Alpine Glow.”
With baby blue and pink sky in front of me and the aftermath of the sunset behind now a warm shade of apricot, I pulled into the passenger discharge area. Getting her baggage out and embracing and saying farewell and wishing safe travels to Anna took a relatively few minutes as the area was not very crowded then. I left slowly looking over my shoulder and watching my girl as she entered the doorway. Following the traffic I drove out from under the building once again facing the west and ————it was dark! The street lights were on, I had to turn my headlights on. It seemed like in just a matter of minutes there was some kind of magical reversal of the movie “The Wizard of Oz” as I moved from the technicolor of sunset into the black and white of night.
Throughout this exercise there was lurking in my mind the question of just what was the message here? What was it I was supposed to learn.? Maybe nothing, maybe just being more mindful. And yet——I found my lesson in what I just wrote. It seems to me now that the sunset embraces us with its colors saying farewell, safe travels and may we meet again soon. Amen!
Colleen J. Huckabee