My sunset sky

I snapped this picture of sunset over our church building in Fairfield, California, August 2003

I snapped this picture of sunset over our church building in Fairfield, CA, August 2003

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”Rabindranath Tagore

There are a lot of things I really like about getting older.  Based on what others have said or written, I know I’m not the only one who has experienced a wonderful sort of letting go of past anxieties, and a freedom to enjoy the unpredictability of life from a kind of distance that wasn’t there in youth, when I was eager to move ahead into what then seemed an endless future.

It’s not that there are no storms or rain now; indeed, there may be more of them than ever.  But the older I get, the fewer alarming disruptions they cause in my world.  The colors, on the other hand, grow more dazzling all the time. Maybe they were always this way, and I just didn’t have time to see it.

If you’re a young person reading this, you might suppose that such talk is just the way old people console themselves.  But think about it: which is better — sunrise, when you are full of energy and face a day of tasks, some that are fun and some that are formidable?  Or sunset, after your work, though possibly incomplete, has reached a stopping point of sorts; when you’ve finished the last chore for the day, and look forward to a few hours of relaxation (or at least, less strenuous work) and maybe some candlelight, nice music or reading before bed?

I realize not everyone sees things this way, but as lovely as I find the sunrise, I think sunset is my true favorite.  No more worries about the clouds then. Rain occasionally may spoil daytime plans, but at night it makes a wonderful sound by which to fall asleep.

Next time you see a beautifully tinted sky at sunset, remember Tagore’s wise observation, and bask in the thought of the serenity and rest awaiting you at day’s end.

One year ago today:

Every single day

28 Comments

  1. Ann

    What a wonderful analogy. I’m 65 now and can honestly say that this is the best time of my life. What a blessing!

    Remember, we’re getting older, not old😊

    • Ann, I totally agree that pretty much everything (except joints and flexibility, hee-hee) gets better with age. Most of what doesn’t get better doesn’t seem to matter anymore. I’m 57, so I appreciate your words which help me look forward to 65!

  2. Loved everything about this post – the photograph, the quote from Tagore, and above all your words.
    I completely agree with you. Like most of the people I once believed that after 30 people become old and weak, and lose all their beauty. But not really. We think kids free of worries. Some kind of fear and uncertainty hovered over my younger days though I had a normal childhood. Now I am more comfortable with myself.Things are much better in every way, even though I am aware of the wrinkles, which, after all, are just superficial. My mind is clearer now and I know what what’s happening with me.
    Somehow these days I have become more interested in learning more about death and the so-called life after death. I am not trying evade the reality but I feel the awareness makes my present life more meaningful.

    • Bindu, I agree totally that it’s natural and right for our thoughts to turn increasingly toward eternity as we get older. I love the song “Life is eternal” by Carly Simon, where she reminds us that “Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon…and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” Faith has always been the foundation of my life but it becomes less abstract, and more real, the older I get. Again, this may appear to some to be wishful thinking, but I know that it’s not. Thanks for being here and for sharing with us! I am so happy to know that you too appreciate getting older!

  3. Beth

    The same is true from my point of view. No ringing phones, and my reading chair and cats are waiting for a quiet evening. Bliss! 🙂

    • Sounds wonderful! Hey, your comment got me to looking through some old photos – be watching in about 12 days for a picture of us from that wonderful 1973 getaway to Montego Bay. It’s old and grainy but the joy comes through. Thanks for being here!

  4. Beautiful! Each of nature’s sighting is a true masterpiece. And Tagore felt that beauty. Have you read his noble-winning work ‘Gitanjali’?

    • Sarvjit, I had never heard of that work, but thanks to you, I looked it up and found it at Amazon and best of all – I was able to download a FREE copy of it for my Kindle! Those who have Kindles might want to check this link and see if it is still free there (sometimes these promotions are limited, but for classic works, they are often available for free). How lucky, to have the works of Nobel Prize winners made available to us at no cost – and to have those who point us to such works! Thanks so much for adding to my library! 🙂

  5. Think you, you for so beautifully expressing my feelings at age 72 and the magnificence of sunsets. How may I send a pic of of sunset over St Amalie, St Thomas I took last week?

    • Hi Curtis, thanks so much for visiting here and sharing your thoughts. There are a couple of ways you can share photos here. If you have your photo stored online at a site such as Flicker or Instagram, you can just include the URL in a comment. If you don’t have it online, please send the photo as an attached file to me at defeatdespair@verizon.net, and I can go back and put it at the end of today’s post. If you send the photo and don’t see it posted within a few hours, let me know. Thanks again for sharing – I can imagine that there are some gorgeous sunsets over St. Amalie!

  6. Sunset of life ! I hope it’s a long one, HA. There was a guy on the news a couple of nights ago. He was at the Gym every day, sharp as a tack at 106 years young ! WOW, that’d be something. Alys and I were just talking about being friends at 100 or in year 2061 (to put it in perspective). Seems so far away but might be doable. She’s going to buy me an Aqua Bench with a little pet fountain if we get there since that was my idea of a memorial. So hopefully I’ll get that darn bench, HA. I like to be more of a morning person than night time, sometimes my internal clock gets all messed up but that’s my goal. It’s trickier in the winter in Canada here, is so dark for long periods of winter. Looking forward to those long June days with very very late night sunsets ! Bring it on.

    • Bring it on indeed – the time changes very soon and then we’ll have an extra hour of daylight in the evenings. I think living to 100+ will become more and more common. The only reservation I have about that is the longer one lives, the more goodbyes one has to say to those who pass on. So a long life has always seemed a mixed blessing to me, never more so than now. However, in the great scheme of things, even the longest life is too short to waste even a minute. I love the idea of that Aqua Bench and pet fountain. I imagine you have much longer daylight hours in the summer than we do – at mid-June, what’s your average sunrise and sunset? I remember when we first moved to northern CA and I had to get used to the sun shining at 5:00 am!

      • You’ve made a good point about the good-bye’s one must endure for longevity. I think that indeed would be hard. All the more reason to constantly be inviting new friends into your life. Bonus, it helps us to be constantly learning and growing. It’s hard to imagine 100 years, so many things that we can’t even fathom will be part of our everyday lives, so it just might be awesome.

        I’m linking a site about the typical June in Edmonton. Basically, from my perspective, it’s noticeably warmer than May. With the longest days being Jun 17 to 24th (my BD). At 5am it’s daylight, with lightness beginning around 4:30am. Then full darkness being 11:00pm or so. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem that dark. Hard to tell in the city but for sure in the country, we didn’t have any streetlights and it’d be noticeably light still, even after 10pm. Last year it rained every day in June. Typically, not the whole day but some major shower bursts, thunder, lightning etc. Everything will be very green. Then in July and August we get the heat. Not like your heat. Maybe 30C, but usually 25 C to 30 C. According to statisticians, Alberta gets more sunshine annually than any other province in Canada. Most winter days are sunny, even when it’s cold. Our summers are pleasant, with the exception of mosquitos 😉 Here’s the link

        https://weatherspark.com/averages/28127/6/Edmonton-Alberta-Canada

        • Wow, that’s almost like the “midnight sun” of Alaska, which we enjoyed in 2000. It was great to stay up past midnight and still have it be light outside! However, shortly after that trip, Matt had his first manic episode and we later learned that changes to the circadian rhythms can provoke mania (not cause it, but aggravate it if the tendency is already there). We have been advised not to cross more than two time zones with him within any short period of time. When we broke this rule and went to Europe in 2005, he was manic a couple of months later. So we’ve learned to be wary! I bet your summer days are extra-magical with all those lovely twilight hours.

  7. Sheila

    Bill’s dad told us several years ago that as your window of time in this life becomes smaller, there are changes in how we perceive our existence. Days seem to go faster, problems seem to be smaller, laughs seem to be louder, and sunrise and sunsets seem to be brighter!
    That is how I interpreted his words, anyway, 🙂 Now he basks in his new journey…..

    • Sheila, I can easily imagine I’ll feel that way when I reach the age Bill’s dad was when he said that. In fact, I think it’s already happening. Maybe it’s a “sneak preview” of what lies ahead! 🙂 Hope you are doing well. It’s always a joy to hear from you.

  8. Julia…beautiful sunset! yes, l like sunsets best. Mornings are wonderful too, hearing birds wake up and begin to sing[call out]. To see the day wake up is inspiring. But sunsets are beautiful…
    I must remember Ann’s quote…”We’re getting older…not old! `/”…I agree.
    At 72 …aches and pains is part of day event…but I try to keep my smile in place…:)

    • Yes, I’m getting used to living with joint pain and I guess if it worsens gradually it will be nothing to dread. There are infirmities that go along with getting older, but there also are things one is happy to leave behind, especially for women. 🙂 Keep that smile in place my friend. A great smile is beautiful on any age face!

      • For joint pain, try an over-the-counter supplement called Sam – e.

        • Thanks, I had heard that and keep meaning to try it. I’ll try to get some soon. I am taking glucosamine/condroitin/MSM supplements and it does seem to help, although it might be a placebo effect. But hey, I’ll take a placebo effect over pain any day! 🙂

  9. raynard

    Julia, I work at Dupont and there are 2 other places near by. When I pass by the last one, my mind “becomes like the ending credits on a movie, “Fade to black”. Then it’s off on the interstate or”the back roads”.. I told my CPT and boss, I would better serve him in the position I’m in now”behind the scenes.( some days a laugh track playing her, he reminds me Of “Mr Haney” from Green Acres” lol Never a dull moment.. Be blessed

    • Working for Mr. Haney would definitely be an experience to remember. I hope he doesn’t SOUND like Mr. Haney!!! Sometimes when I’m driving on back roads with nothing nearby, I get hypnotized by the road and fall asleep easily. In fact, it also happens when there are things around, but not nearly as bad. That’s why I finally gave up and started drinking coffee before long drives!

  10. I HEARTily agree with you. Healing hugs to you all! xo

    • Thank you, I have been intending to write and let you know how much I enjoyed the lovely card! I appreciate your words of encouragement! 🙂

      • Sending heartfelt hugs and prayers as always. xo

        • Thank you! They are a great encouragement. 🙂

  11. MaryAnn

    What a fabulous shot! I marvel at God’s Beauty each time I linger at a sunset! Some last for nearly an hour, as I am praising Him for making it for me! Ages ago, I drove a bit from our home to take a better shot of a magnificent, brilliant sky. I was concentrating on the sunset, took several shots. Since it was before digital, I did not know I had God’s light & the railroad crossing light in the photo, as the arms were descending. Shane was taking a photography at the time & made a large, mounted print of it for a project. Glad to be of service for a good grade in school: heehee…

    • Mary Ann, don’t you just love it when our kids make a masterpiece for a school project? Our friends have a beautiful sculpture that their daughter made as an art major in college, and when I complimented her on it she said “that cost us 50,000” (referring to how much four years of college cost back in those days). So happy Shane captured the light on film! A great reminder for the dark times.

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