I’m an enormous fan of sunsets. You don’t have to know much about me or talk to me for more than about 2 minutes to know about my love affair with nature and absolutely everything that touches it. But specifially sunsets.
The way that blazing orb sinks below the horizon, the way the last bits of sun blast the eyes as it dips lower, the way the oranges, reds, and golds melt one into the other–all of it seems to tug at me in an more than just a physical way.
Sunsets though, I realize actually portend something rather dark in the metaphoric world. And until a personal sunset hits me, I don’t think much about that side of it. Like a close family member losing a job. Or another close family member finding out he has a progressive disease that is taking away his ability to do everyday things like tie his shoes, sign his name or answer his phone. Or still a close friend of mine finding out she is losing a sister-in-law to cancer.
All of these circumstances are sunsets too. They mark the close of a day–be it time at a job, physicial abilities, and yes, even life. These circumstances are sinking, falling, lowering, dipping below the horizon, and perhaps without the glowing radiance and beauty and magnanimous flare that our dear evening sunsets provide.
These sunsets tell of a coming darkness and cold and absence of light. These sunsets mean ending, limitation and separation from loved ones.
But thank you Mr. Emerson for reminding us that behind every sunset is the promise of a new dawn.
I’ve been tossing around my struggle to grapple with the dark things around us, with why people get let go from their jobs without an explanation, of why diseases fall randomly on us, slowly taking away all that makes us who we are, of why families younger than mine with kids younger than mine find out a wife is suffering from incurable cancer.
My heart sometimes bolts against the God has a reason for everything response.
But what my heart does accept is that a new dawn follows every sunset, even the darkest and coldest and meanest of them all. What’s more, it enables me to live in my current day with more positivity, knowing that all things have a beginning and an end, to be less negative about the little sunsets populating my life throughout the day and to focus on the coming dawns from all corners of life.
The dawn of the next opportunities. The dawn of new chapters in life. The actual Dawn of the afterlife, whatever that exactly will look and be like.
What sunsets are you experiencing? What dawns are you watching for? What time of night are you in right now? And how are you moving from where you are now to the next dawn?
Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn. Ralph Waldo Emerson