Monday, January 20, 2014

On Dawn and Dusk

Another sunset to remember
 This summer, swaddled in a down comforter, skin still warm from the heat of the sun, I watched a day disappear. As the sky began to turn orange I closed my eyes and took it all in. The beauty of nature, one of our greatest renewable resources, the cool breeze that gently kissed my face, and the knowledge that no matter how many sunsets I saw, I would never see this one again. It was a masterpiece gone too soon. Whenever I'm feeling sad, or angry, I remember that sunset, and existing underneath it, and I feel at peace with the chaos surrounding me.
   I humbly submit, reader, that you too have one of these memories. I have more, most of them revolving around the sunrise and sunset. Yes, many of my favorite moments occur when a day is dawning, but more likely when its ending. Admittedly I don't actually believe 6 am exists, because I'm usually sound asleep then.
   But one summer, I did witness 6 am and the beauty a sunrise has to offer. In my most magical summer yet, I was 15 and had just moved to Omak, where met my eventual best friend and sister, Carissa. Shortly after meeting she took me to one of her favorite hangouts - "The Spot". From there we could see all the city lights, the moon, and the stars, twinkling, staring back at us, perhaps watching our little lives unfold. We laid on our blankets and tried to count all of them, but fell asleep before we finished. We woke when the sun did, and wrapped up in blankets and youth, watched the sun ascend into the sky. I believe that was the first sunrise I ever really saw.
   Watching the sun rise is almost hopeful. It validates the fact that no matter what, night will become day and things will start anew. With this knowledge comes a choice that we have to make. Do we shy away from the light of knowledge and new beginnings, or do we greet it with a smiling face and an open heart? There is a lesson to be learned there, I think.
   And the sunset is equally abounding with lessons. No two sunsets are the same. They are always changing, just as we have to do as humans. Change is hard, change is scary, and it doesn't really get easier as time goes on. No matter what, though, change will come in your life, be it big or small. But don't look back. Move forward, or you live in the past at the expense of giving up the future and experiencing the here and now. Yes, I'll never see that beautiful sunset again, but I can fondly remember it from time to time, and with every new day comes a new dusk, bringing an equally or even more spectacular sunset with it. We must change to grow and adapt, else we sleep, and miss all of the opportunities life has in store.
   There is something to learn in everything, reader. And nature may just be the best teacher we have.

Alexis Olmstead is a part time waitress and full time diva. She is currently spending her every waking moment poring over her Wizard of Oz script preparing for the start of rehearsals. For more attempts at philosophical, soul-searching posts, check back often.


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