Sunsets and Growing Up


Tonight, I watched the sunset from a rooftop with 180 degree view of an ocean marsh, while wrapped in a warm blanket and sipping a glass of red wine.

When I was a kid, I don’t think I ever noticed sunsets. Not once.

When you are young, all of these things go unnoticed. You are busy, focused on self. But as you age, you realize hope is sometimes differed, dreams are sometimes shattered, and love is sometimes lost. You realize that life is hard, marriage is not a fairy tale, and we can sometimes be our own worst enemy. But when you grow, you also start to slow down. You realize that while life is hard, it is also short. You start to pay attention to the things that bring you joy and peace, and seek them out.

That’s the thing about growing up. You have a lot of heartache, you walk through really tough things, but you also learn to slow down. You learn to stop and watch the sunset. You will cry, but then you breathe in deep and see that beauty is always around you. No matter what storm you are in, there is always a sunset (and a sunrise). Thank God for that.

When I was in college, broke, lonely, and confused about just about everything, I walked to park and sat on a tree. I looked at a creek and a waterfall and the leaves changing colors as they fell to the ground in a blanket of brilliant shades. I thought, “This costs me nothing. I don’t have to work for it, I don’t have to pay for it, I don’t need a companion for it. And this makes me happy. It’s beautiful! Wherever I am, I will always have this”.

That thought brought me so much comfort and peace, knowing that beauty and happiness is available to me if I just slow down to notice it.

No matter what my circumstances are, what trouble I may have, I WILL ALWAYS HAVE THIS.

“I’m asking God for one thing,
    only one thing:
To live with him in his house
    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
    I’ll study at his feet.”

-Psalm 27:4


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