Sunsets have been here since the Earth and the Sun were formed. Before life, before anything really. I wonder what those first sunsets looked like. I bet they were awesome. As life started, sunsets separated the species, those whose lives were lived in the light, and those of the dark. It marked a completion of a day before there were clocks and calendars to enslave our time. There has always been one sure thing. A sunrise will end with a sunset and a sunset will be followed by a sunrise. That’s pretty reassuring.
“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn”. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m a huge sunset person. To me, they represent another day of your life has ended. Watching a sunset somehow closes that day out, and gets you ready for the next. It truly is one of natures most beautiful sights. Whenever I can, I try to stop what I am doing and watch the sun go down. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way, you are busy, there are clouds, in the wrong place, inside, and a host of other distractions. A good example of this is my last place I worked. The dealership faced west and had a huge field that provides gorgeous sunsets. I got to enjoy very little of them because I was always busy with something that required my attention. I always felt a bit cheated by that.
I get it that everyone is not into sunsets. Take my kids, for instance, they couldn’t care less. Seems like I feel alone in my feelings for sunsets. Early risers like sunrise, beach lovers like that overhead sun. Night owls don’t like the sun at all. So a big plus for me to move to Maui was that I could watch unlimited amounts of sunsets. I grew up in the woods of Northern Minnesota, where it was hard to find a sunset. I guess I started to appreciate them more when I moved to Key West, Florida, and went down to the pier at sunset along with hundreds of others to watch as the ocean swallowed up the sun. They were glorious.
To get the best sunset, you know you need to look at it across water or flat land. Because of the geography of Maui, and the neighboring islands, there is only a small spot on the island where you can get that over water show. In Maui, I don’t live in that primo spot.
As you can see on the map, There really is only a small piece of the island where you can watch it without an island blocking it. (The sun sets in the west for you night owls).
For some reason, I wanted to write about sunsets today. This afternoon as I was writing this blog I came to a disappointing realization. For all the talk, and how I feel about them, I have only watched the sun set twice. (Technically once. We were on the beach as it got dark on the east side of the island). That really hit me. All that time had slipped by without my enjoying one of my greatest pleasures. And the only reason I saw those two (one) was that I had company from Minnesota and they wanted to go to the beach. What a hypocrite I am.
I looked at the time, 5:40, and looked up the sunset time, 6:40. Without hesitation, I jumped in my car to make the 30-minute drive to the beach where I could see the sun set best. Now keep in mind that I still had to reckon with clouds. Didn’t matter. And it didn’t matter for these sunset lovers when I arrived.
I set up my beach chair, and quietly contemplated the day as the sun set behind the tip of the neighboring island of Lanai. When it was gone, I jumped in the car and thought I might as well get something to eat. I stopped at Maui Tacos and they had a special going, $5 house burritos. Nice. When I was done, I was walking to my car and stopped in a surf shop next to the Taco place. They were having a sale on Billabong clothes, and I got a killer pair of board shorts and T-shirt at 75% off. (I know what you were thinking. He probably wears a Speedo). I didn’t think the night could get better, but I looked up and saw a gorgeous half moon above. (OK, I’m a moon person too). On the way back home I opened up the panoramic sunroof, cranked the tunes, and felt like I was 20 again. Life is pretty good it seems when you take time for yourself. How could I have let these precious months slip away like that? The answer, of course, is responsibility, time, obligations, money, kids, life. Why do I feel so guilty taking moments of the day to enjoy, when I have others to consider. That is what I need to work on as it became glaringly obvious today.
I am starting to add video content to my posts. Here is a video I took from the beach at sunset. I find it very relaxing, I hope you do too. (as a side note, it’s 87 degrees with a slight breeze off the water).
From now on, I will be taking more time for sunsets………..