Thursday, December 13, 2012

In Praise of a Sunset...

      I went to Vermont last week to seek out one of the venues that I have longed to that has been on my "Bucket List" for some time.  But, oddly, this post is not about that place.  As so often happens to me, I  stumble upon something totally unexpected and quite revealing when I go looking for something else. That in itself is a powerful lesson I think.

   Earlier that day I had found the place I had come to photograph and it was a wonderful experience.  I will share that with you at a later date.  For now, I want to talk to you about the appreciation of a sunset...the experience of the glorious beauty we often take for granted.  I had finished my photography for the day and was headed for some quiet time and a nice glass of wine.  I wanted to mull over my days notes and impressions of the place I had driven 3 hours to find.  As I approached the restaurant I saw this amazing sunset reflected in the river that ran behind the establishment.  I ran back to the car and got my camera, delighted with my luck.  For a few minutes I just soaked in the incredible beauty...the peaceful geese gliding across the water oblivious, I was sure, of the beauty that surrounded them.  I made a few images, none of which can truly do justice to what I had just experienced, but mainly I just breathed in the exquisite beauty.  The day had been a gift already, unusually warm for a New England December, and this seemed a final heartfelt token from Nature.

   When I walked into the lounge area of the restaurant, which had a wall of windows looking out onto this amazing scene, I immediately noticed that no one, not one person, was looking at it.  They were all involved with their conversations or watching the news on the television above the bar.  When the bartender approached me I said, "Surely, that is an incredibly beautiful sight!"  He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Oh, we get that sort of thing all the time; you get pretty use to it after awhile."  I must admit, I was stunned.

    Have we become so cynical that such a simple beauty as a sunset no longer stirs our soul?  Can we truly get so use to such sublime beauty that we can no longer appreciate it?  Are our day to day lives so important, the scores of yesterday's football games so impelling, that we cannot take a few minutes to gaze with awe on what Nature creates before our very eyes?  I went to the window with my glass of wine and watched the geese dipping their beaks into the pools of glorious tangerine and violet and I thought, "Perhaps they have, in their own quiet way, a far better  appreciation of the sublime than we do."  I hope I , and you too my friends, never get too busy or too self-important that we can't find ourselves humbled in the presence of such beauty.

 “If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, 
I shall feel that I have worked with God.”
G.K. Chesterton
(Click on this link to find out
about this amazing writer.)

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