Watching the Sunset Together

When I was driving across a bridge at dusk a couple of evenings ago, the sunset in front of me was absolutely glorious. 

It was magnificent. Breathtaking. Magical.

It was so beautiful that I could hardly believe I was seeing it.

There were all these streaky, golden clouds with light streaming through them. There were endless shades of orange and yellow and blue. The sun was a bright and glowing orange as I watched it slide down past the horizon. There was the river on either side of me, glistening in my peripheral vision as I drove across a bridge. There was the town and landscape silhouetted against the light of the sunset.

I could barely soak in the beauty around me. I couldn’t believe my luck!

Then I realized I wasn’t the only driver having this experience at this exact moment.

We were each in our separate vehicle yet experiencing this incredible sunset together. 

A sunset is contagious!

Once in while my sweetheart and I will go out the front door and into the street in front of our house to look down the street and watch a particularly spectacular sunset to the west of our house. 

And the coolest thing is that our neighbors do the same thing. 

Then we all just stand there and look at the sky together. We say a few things about how beautiful it is. We talk about a few neighborly things. 

And we all stand there.

Watching the sunset. 

Together.

It reminds me of this one time I came out of a big-box store in a rush, and a stranger slapped me on the arm to tell me to look up at the sunset. She and several people had stopped to look at it. 

Strangers looking at the sunset together in front of a mega-store! Isn’t that something? 

And maybe this has happened to you, too, where you’re checking in on your Facebook and see that someone has posted a picture of a particularly extraordinary sunset from the evening before, and you think, “Yes, it really was beautiful.”

It just seems we all want to look at sunsets.

And we always want to share them, even when our pictures don’t do them justice at all. 

And we never get tired of this. 

(And the bonus is that this is social media at its best. Really cool.)

Full moons and fingernail moons

When  my son  was a kid he used to love to ride his play horse—the kind that’s on springs on a stand. 

My son would ride that horse into the evening sometimes, and I’d watch him from the kitchen window as I was cooking or washing dishes. As the sun was setting and the moon began to appear, he’d look up at the moon and talk to it. It was adorable and heartwarming.

When he set off to college and later was living on his sailboat or sailing somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay, he would often call to tell me about the moon, especially when he was sailing.

He’s all grown up now and still says that when he looks at the moon he thinks of me—and for me to think of him. 

And just the other night a friend was visiting, and as she left she looked up at the fingernail-y sliver of a moon and said, “I love a crescent moon.” I agreed that I too love a crescent moon. 

And really, we all love a crescent moon. 

Isn’t it interesting that we don’t feel boring or conventional for loving something everyone loves? Or embarrassed for being sentimental?

I think we feel connected.

To each other, and more. 

We look inward when we look out

We earth-dwelling beings sense something mighty and mysterious when we look at the sky. 

And no matter how many beautiful sunsets and sunrises and full moons and crescent moons and starry skies we look at, it never gets old. 

It gets to us every time. 

It causes all sorts of introspection when we take in the beauty of what’s beyond us. We feel some deep connection to the mystery and, pardon my corniness, the majesty of our sky.

And even when we’re looking at the sky all by our lonesome, we’re still sharing the experience with everyone else who’s looking at the very same sky. 

While Ram Dass may have said that “We’re all just walking each other home,” he could just as well have said, “We’re all just watching the sunset together.”

Because it’s kind of the same thing. 

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