Wednesday, September 23, 2009


(This is not the sunset that I just saw, but was the closest approximation I could find. Mine was way, way, way, way cooler.)

I spend ten minutes of the drive home from Seminary driving almost due west, which is an unfortunate thing to do at sunset. Consequently, I spent ten minutes of my drive cursing the sun, for blinding me, and making me drive like a maniac who couldn't see the lines on the street-- because, well . . . I couldn't. But anytime there was a tree, or another car, or a building blocking the sun, I could see the most beautiful sunset I have seen in quite some time. After I turned and started heading south, I spent the last ten minutes of my trip driving like a maniac who couldn't see the lines--but this time, because I could not take my eyes off of the sunset.

Texas has some of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable, and on my way home, I could pretty much see the whole panorama of this one. It was breathtaking. So many colors, so many textures. There were long, wispy clouds, and tiny ones, like little cotton balls, and spiky ones like fireworks decorating the sky. There was a patch of deep blue clouds next to a smattering of golden ones. The sky was pink, gold, blue, purple . . . I almost caused a wreck coming off my exit, which does a 180-degree turn at exactly the right spot to see the whole sky--or at least the interesting half of the sky at sunset.

The thing about sunsets is they are so fleeting, and so difficult to capture. My words are woefully inadequate to express the beauty I just witnessed, and even a picture (which is worth what I just said times a thousand) would fail to do it justice. You just have to be there.

That's not all, though. I'm sure that there were hundreds of people who were under that same sunset who weren't even aware of it. Thousands, probably.

I often feel like Heavenly Father gives me sunsets just to make sure I remember how much He loves me, but today I got the feeling it was also an admonition to slow down, to exist in the moment, and to enjoy life as it comes. Because as soon as you blink, the sun is gone, and no description, painting, or even photograph can recreate it. And every sunset is different, so while I'll see many beautiful sunsets in my life, I'll never get to see that one again.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a huge sunset fan. And some of the best sunsets I ever experienced were in Illinois, during my first summer as a missionary. There were several times where my companion and I would pull off the road to take pictures. And I remember one time when we just pulled over and sat and stared for at least 10 minutes. We were late to our next appointment . . .