Archive for February 22nd, 2023

It’s not always bad news…

Reason #17- Glorious Sunsets

Previously, I had written about sunrises and how they are different from sunsets, and they are.  Sunrises tend to be more brilliant than their evening counterparts, but typically don’t come close to number and variety of shades and hues than the equivalent sunsets.  By “equivalent,” I mean that the weather and landscape allow the best view possible for both scenes, morning or evening. In many locations in the country, mountains and forest can completely obscure sunsets from view, as can heavy clouds, precipitation and other weather-related phenomena.  Ironically, some clouds make both sunrises and sunsets much more dramatic than clear skies.

But, let’s be honest.  Glorious sunsets can be so moving as to deserve their own happiness category.  I would compare sunsets with rainbows, which can have a spiritual effect on those who are fortunate enough to observe them, especially following extreme weather or rainstorms.  When conditions are right and the ability to stop and gaze is present, it can be an awe-inspiring experience.

Colorful sunsets happen when the sun dips toward the horizon and its light has to travel through a greater distance of atmosphere before reaching our eyes.  In so doing, blue light, as well as some green and yellow light, gets filtered out, leaving reds and oranges to continue in their place, and we can enjoy an abundance of those hues.  Just about the only time you can see a red or orange sky is during a glorious sunset.

Like rainbows, which have been considered through the ages as a renewal or peace after tumultuous times, sunsets can symbolize the same at the end of a long day.  They can represent the passage of time, the beauty of life and nature, and even the promise of romance.  As the sun sets, light fades, which is symbolic of the forces of darkness.

I especially love sunsets beyond bodies of water, like the ocean or large lake, and am usually excited at that prospect when we arrive in such a location.  One of the few disappointments of camping in the forest is that sunsets are almost certain to avoid us, just beyond the mountains and tree canopies.

Let’s not forget, when comparing to sunrises, that we are far more likely to be up and awake for a sunset.  Especially in the summer months, sunrises are seriously ahead of my usual wake-up hour, making it a chore to see them, even with a good plan.  However, I’m nearly always awake and ready for a dusk-time show.

Probably the best thing about a sunset, though, is the sheer surprise of the spectacle.  No matter how many you may have seen over your lifetime, a beautiful sunset can seem like a miracle or an epiphany.  The more glorious the view, the more astonishing it seems.  I read a conversation online about how some people look to predict the best sunsets for planning the best time and place for viewing.  This seems counterproductive to me, unless I am trying for sunset photos, for the surprise of the show is as awe-inspiring as the show itself.


I’ll leave the subject with some words from pop and Gospel singer/musician Amy Grant, who said, “Get outside. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. How does that make you feel? Does it make you feel big or tiny? Because there’s something good about feeling both.

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