We Set the Sun
Who doesn’t love a good sunset? I think that most people can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of one if they stumble upon it, even if it isn’t their favorite thing to watch.
We do (most) things just a little differently than (most) other people, though. Often, especially in the summer, we plan our evening around the sunset. Dinner early or late to accommodate the current sunset ETA. Sometimes it’s our entire evening plan- to watch the sunset.
There’s no wrong time of the year for it, though. In winter, some of our favorite sunset spots are less scenic due to the barren nature of winter. Yet, the winter affords us earlier sunset times that tend to be easier to work into an evening while still achieving a respectable school night bedtime. In spring and fall, the scenery surrounding the sunset is fantastic here in the heart of North Carolina. In summer, we have more time to be leisurely about our sunsetting thanks to the absence of homework or early school mornings. No wrong time of year for sunsetting. For sure.
Sunsetting is a lot like fishing, I suppose. No matter how good you are at forecasting sunsets or fishing conditions, sometimes you catch a big one and sometimes you go home empty-handed. Sometimes the best fishing happens at random with very little time invested, and sometimes the most careful and strategic planning harvests naught. Same with sunsetting. Sometimes you stumble across an amazing sunset by chance, and other times the seemingly certainly perfect sunset conditions you drove 40 miles to reach get snuffed out at the last minute due to a cloud bank rolling in 100 miles away on the horizon.
I suppose you could say it’s become something of a family hobby for us. It’s an experience you can’t get online or on your couch. No matter how many amazing pictures I get of sunsets from high atop this or that favorite place, they are only glimpses into what it’s really like to watch it happen in person.
All of this makes me wish I could give the sun something back. The best relationships are those in which everyone gets something wonderful from the others in it. Yet the sun just keeps on giving all of humanity this show every single day, all over the world, completely free of charge, whether anyone is watching or not.
Remember when your kids were little, and would make you pretend meals? Bring you a plate of plastic cheeseburgers, corn on the cob, and plastic vegetables? And you’d pretend to eat them like they were the best foods you’d ever put in your mouth? Your kids did that for you because you always fed them, but they didn’t really have anything to give you in return. Or so they thought. They gave you joy, and showed you gratitude, all at once with those make-believe meals. All of those things matter a lot, even though the plastic food didn’t do much for your empty tummy.
Likewise, we don’t have anything to offer the sun which will actually fuel its fire or help it set. If I were the sun, it would bring me joy to know that people loved to watch my bedtime show, and I’d feel like they were showing gratitude by going out of their way specifically to watch it.
A lot of things in life are this way. The world doesn’t revolve around any of us, as much as we’d like to think it does. We can’t always give back as much as we get. Sometimes, we have nothing at all to offer in exchange for the things we treasure most. Since this paragraph is overstuffed with clichés, I’ll add that the best things in life truly are free.
Therefore, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the best things we can give back in gratitude and appreciation are also free? I think so. I am most proud of my children when I can see that they are grateful and appreciative. Neither of which costs a dime. Just like the sunset. 100% free of charge. Always has been, always will be.
We are grateful for sunsets, even though the sun will continue to set whether we appreciate it or not. Some people believe that money makes the world go around. I would rather think that gratitude sets the sun, and the sunset keeps the world spinning.
If you choose to believe that along with me, that makes it your turn to take a shift setting the sun. Tomorrow night or the next will be fine. Someone else will be out there setting it if you miss a shift anyway, but it’s your appreciation that makes the sunset go around… on top of all that? You get to watch the show free of charge in any case…
We set the sun. It’s more fun to watch if you look at it that way.
Cheers from The www.ThreeFiveZero.com Sunsets