Nature’s gift, such beauty at the end of the day. Sunsets are always slightly different, a remix of oranges, pinks and red contrasted with the glassy blue of a night sea. They flare and glow with the spark and pzazz of a stage show, dramatic and showy, a glorious celebration of light. They emit warm embers to ease worn muscles and souls after a busy day. They calm and restore before they fade gradually into the cool blue-dark of the night. After life there is dark, but after dark there is light and life once more.
Did you know?
At sunset (and sun rise) the sun is low on the horizon and so the light has more air in the atmosphere to travel through than it does when the sun is directly overhead. This ‘extra’ atmosphere challenges the light waves to a greater extent, distorting them more than usual. Light waves scatter, bend and break as they try to pass through all the atmosphere crowded with particles. Nitrogen and oxygen molecules in our atmosphere act as little mirrors for blue and violet light, in particular, filtering these from our view. It is usually thought that the more particles in the sky (dust, clouds – water droplets etc.) the fierier and more dramatic the sunset.
“Red sky at night, shepherds’ delight,
Red sky in the morning, shepherds’ warning.”Anon
The shepherds’ warning of a beautiful sunrise heralding rain later in the day refers to the presence of clouds that are believed to enhance the pink sky; cumulonimbus clouds will bring rain. The same is true for the evening sunset (clouds always increase the spectacle), but shepherds either thought the evening clouds never brought rain or were ‘delighted’ to sleep through the rain and enjoy a fine day the next morning….
The clouds, stained pink at sunset or sunrise are not always cumulonimbus rain-bearing ones, and rain is often blown off course, so the rhyme is not an accurate prediction of weather. The little ditty does however indicate how people through the ages were seeking for a meaning behind the sunset/sunrise pageantry.
“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully.”Kristen Butler
As the sun sets and the moon rises at the end of the day, take a moment to appreciate the glory of the golden hour as the sky turns to dusk. Enjoy the calmness and stillness in the world around you. Take a deep breath as the sun disappears below the horizon and reflect upon what you accomplished today and what goals you have set for tomorrow.
O sun of real peace! O hastening light!Walt Whitman, ‘O Sun of Real Peace’.
O free and extatic! O what I here, preparing, warble for!
O the sun of the world will ascend, dazzling, and take his height—and you too, O my Ideal, will surely ascend!
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