How many of these do I have left? How many do you have left? It’s easy to forget just how incredible the natural world actually is, and how diverse and wide ranging what we might think would be a similar experience–like sunrise or sunset– is from place to place. We just have to go, always go. “It’s too windy,” or “There might be cloud cover,” or “We saw the sunset last night.” There’s always a reason NOT to go but when you do go it ALWAYS resonates. Always.
Sunsets in this region are buttery pastels, soft and glorious, bathed in bugs and humidity. Where I live the sunsets are brash, contrasty and exude unbridled power, like late light to a sailor. A reminder, “I can turn on you at any moment.” What is it about the transition from light to dark? Why does it matter so much? Why does noon light mean so little? Color, shape, direction, add them in and suddenly the world melts away and we shriek to each other “Look at that, would you look at that!” The fireball.
Paddle out, sail out, walk out, drive out. All you have to do is stare. And the sunset provides another morsel of meaning. Time. Watching the sunset reminds us of how fast this little rock is moving. In scientific terms, we are hauling ass. That sun dazzles then fizzles in an astoundingly short amount of time. Go early, stay late as the grey turns to blue and then to black. Stand motionless and let nature consume you. Put the phone away. It will be there when you return.
How many do we have left? Answer: not that many. And what we have left is only if we are lucky. I’m fifty-four so maybe I have twenty-five years of being able to understand what I’m looking at. Less if things get sketchy or if we decided to nuke a hurricane. I go knowing I’ve seen it before, photographed it before, but I’ll still snap a frame or two before just letting it do it’s thing. Then I just watch and wait.