Late this afternoon, I was in a car heading west. My destination was a funeral home in a small town in Oklahoma. The family was gathering for an event commonly called Visitation, a time of remembering and sharing about a departed loved one, a time for friends and associates to pay their respects. The man being honored tonight is my Uncle Rex. I’ll share more about this sweet and kind man tomorrow, after his memorial service.
I was in a reflective mood as we drove. Greg graciously chauffeured me, due to a threat of severe weather, which allowed me the freedom and opportunity to gaze out the car windows. Clouds were indeed gathering in the sky, as the sun sank toward the horizon.
I love sunsets. Although they are a daily phenomenon, no two are ever quite the same. I appreciate the beauty of sunrise as well. But let’s face it. I am not an early morning person. I don’t see the sun appear in the eastern sky nearly as often as I see it dive in the west.
I am perfectly okay with who I am.
And so sunsets stir the magic in me. They draw gratitude from my heart and my lips. They fire up the sky and my imagination.
The sky was so beautiful as we chased after the sun, that it created an ache within me. Although it is difficult to capture that splendor accurately, I felt compelled to try, snapping pics with my iPhone camera, capturing the day’s last gift.
I thought about my uncle, for whom the sun has set for the final time here on earth. Sunset can be symbolic of the end of life, of the closing of the day and a chapter in the book of life.
However, what I love most about sunset, in addition to the sheer beauty of it, is this…
Sunset teaches me about trust. I trust that when the sun disappears, it’s not gone forever. I trust that even when darkness gathers, the light will appear again. I trust that there is a time for endings, and endings signal new beginnings.
I trust that life is a series of sunrises and sunsets, and the sun may go down for the last time for a soul…but a new sun rises, in a new realm, and that soul lives on. How beautiful and mysterious are sunsets…and life.
John Ruskin wrote, “At sunset, nature is painting for us…day after day…pictures of infinite beauty.”
I am grateful to behold her majestic art, displayed on grand canvases. I am undone by that infinite beauty.