Sunrise and sunset present us with two of the most dramatic contrasts between light and darkness, the division between day and night. Both are sky paintings of color. Dawn is more typically soft and pale and pastel. Sunsets tend to be vibrant with reds and yellows, remnants of the day’s energy and warmth, or, as the old adage goes, a sailor’s delight.
Depending on our viewpoint, we see them with varying degrees of metaphorical optimism. Sunrise is the birth of a new day, sunset—its end.
Viewpoint is key. The French composer, Claude Debussy, spoke of a beautiful sunset that was mistaken for dawn. Ronald Reagan looked at every sunset as being merely the latest milestone on a voyage that never ends.
The sunsets posted here depict just such a voyage. Their drama was captured by my friend, Margot, while she was enjoying an evening cruise with friends around the tiny Thimble Islands in the waters of Long Island Sound. It was a milestone celebration, marking her successful completion of a long and arduous journey through the treatment protocol for lung cancer.
As the sun touched the horizon, silhouetting the shadows of the past in a meditative reflection, the sky evolved into a fire of orange and red, and the truth of Debussy’s words unfolded before our eyes.
Whether sunrise or sunset, can you possibly see anything but an infusion of rekindled energy and hope?
Photos printed with permission of Margot Larson