Driving west towards my sister’s home in Connecticut last week, the orange&yellow rays of the sun burned my eyes. We drove into the sunset – my sister singing Coldplay at the top of her lungs, my nephew looking up riddles on my phone, and me staring at the sun while eating an Almond Joy (I love Almond Joys, huh?). It would have been a good idea to pull down the sun visor, but I couldn’t stop looking at it. I remembered something that happened in early June of last year.
I was helping my sister move from one city in Connecticut to another, and we were again driving west. My dad and his friend were following in a U-Haul truck. Alex pointed to the right with her index finger.
“Isn’t that beautiful?”
Tired, I looked out the window and saw the green tops of trees which looked like hilltops. Miles and miles of rolling, endless green. I felt the blood rise up into my face and my chin scrunch up in sadness, for I could not see what she saw, no matter how hard I tried.
“No, it is not beautiful,” I cried.
It was a low point in my life for me, one of those low moments which I didn’t see coming. One of those low times I never, ever thought I was going to rise out of. Nothing was beautiful, nothing was funny, nothing gave me hope.
But this time, the tears weren’t from sadness. The tears squeezing themselves from my eyes were from my inability to stop staring at the sun. Because all I could think to myself was damn, that is so beautiful.
Sunsets don’t just mean the end of a day, they also mean that another is to come. They mean adventure and life and wonder and mystery and aaaaaah, so many damn things! A few weeks ago I had seriously contemplated not going through with my Malawi plans. So many things are going on, I pained at the thought of not being here to witness it all. Good things, bad things. Life. I was afraid that the people I love would be enjoying beautiful sunsets without me.
That particular sunset, though, I can still see it. We had a little convo, that sun and I. It was telling me that I have my own good and bad things to experience, my own life to live. If I stay here to witness everyone else’s life, where does that leave mine?
The sun sets everywhere. Life can exist anywhere. It’s just a matter of recognizing its beauty.