Tuesday, January 19, 2010


It’s been as cold as a well digger’s... well, let’s just say it’s been really cold and dreary lately. I can take a day or two without sunshine, but too many dark days often give me a case of the blues. When the sun finally made an appearance, my spirits lifted.

On the way home from my day gig I got to catch my first sunset in months. I was on Arkadelphia Road near the border of Walker and Blount county at the ridge of a mountain (it’s really just a foothill, but here in Alabama, we call them mountains).
At the crest of the mountain, it looks as though you can see across Walker County and all the way to Mississippi.
The sun glowed like an amber egg sinking down toward the horizon. The scene was breathtaking so I pulled over to the side of the road to enjoy the waning moments of the descent. As I watched, the western sky turned the color of a rusty garden plow.
I snapped a few frames. No camera can capture the magnificence of a sunset, but I always try.
In looking back through the thousands of photographs I've taken in my life, one would discover that a good many of my photographs are dedicated to sunsets.
Some of my earliest sunset photos are from Panama where I bought my first real camera, but the portfolio has grown steadily since the early seventies.
Several years ago, we took our niece Samantha to San Francisco and one evening we drove south of the city to Santa Cruz and walked down the boardwalk at sunset. We bought ice cream cones and strolled along soaking in the atmosphere.  We stopped for a while, dangled our legs off the edge of the weathered pier, and paid a silent tribute to a sunset that was indescribably beautiful.
I’ve never been to Hawaii but friends have told me that sunsets there are something to behold. I’d really like to go and see for myself.
One of our main goals when we visited Ireland was to watch a sunset off the west coast of the Arian Islands, and we scheduled that treat a few days before departure.
When we went to board the ferry, they told us that fog sometimes makes a day trip turn into a several-day trip, so we had to scratch that off our list.
Even when things are chaotic and my life seems like it’s spiraling out of control, a sunset will stop me in my tracks and gives me a chance to put my priorities in order.
Life has a way of filling up any unallocated time. If you don't take some time for yourself, someone else will take it and make it their own.
I’m not sure about you, but I’m getting too old to let that happen. There’s more sand at the bottom of my hourglass than at the top and what’s left is precious to me.
Mother Nature provides an unending slideshow; from an unfathomable night sky in summer, to autumn leaves, or a blanket of fresh snow in winter.
I can’t imagine a better cure for the blues than a January sunset.

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