There’s this scene in my favorite movie where Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake are sitting watching some horrible romantic comedy and Marshall from How I Met Your Mother is starring in this made up movie, professing his love to some girl who’s leaving him. Insert Mila Kunis in the background saying every part of this scene word for word.
Why are you here? / To tell you that I love that sunsets make you cry and I don’t care that you failed your real estate exam, and I’m glad that you have a five date rule. And that I love you.
There’s just something about it. This momentary existence that is the sunset.
This consistent event that will happen every day we are on this earth, has such a tremendous impact on each and every one of us.
But there isn’t anything consistent about it. No two sunsets are alike.
Our lives are composed of “moments” and my favorite are caught up in the sky. I’m such a oh my gosh look at the sky person.
Contrary to popular belief, life doesn’t happen on your cell phone. Your purpose doesn’t exist in the latest tweet or facebook news story. Your sense of gratification shouldn’t come from some snapchat streak.
John Lennon had a point when he said “life is what happens to you when you’re too busy making other plans”
It’s the moments that make you stop dead in your tracks. It’s that urge to pull off the road and watch the sun go down or enjoy the perfect view from the top of the mountains.
It’s the calm that sweeps over you as you sit down with an old friend in the corner of some coffee shop, wrapped up in the aromatic comfort.
These days it’s almost human nature to snap a photo of everything. Everything needs to be shared. Every night out. Every brunch. Every outfit. We’re all guilty of it.
But, one thing I’ve noticed is that the photos we’re taking don’t even come close to capturing the moments. So, I want to share some of my favorite moments, and I apologize because I don’t have pictures of these sunsets when they were at their most powerful, because those moments are meant to be enjoyed without a lens.
November 30th, 2018. I spent all day in bed and happened to wake up right before sunset. I glanced out my window and saw the sky slowly changing colors. I pulled up a stool, propped up my phone and for thirty blissfully uninterrupted minutes I watched the sky dance. This time of year is perfect because if you catch the sun setting at the right time, the bursts of red and orange of the trees get illuminated.
September 12th, 2018. Bradenton, FL. My mom and I escaped from a hurricane that had much less impact than expected, but the sunrise that morning was incredible.
July 1st, 2018. It wasn’t often that my apartment got to enjoy the cotton candy filled skies, it just didn’t face the right direction. But this day, the storm moved out at the perfect time making the clouds glimmer with pink and orange.
June 16th, 2018. We had a horrible storm roll through and half the time at work we were glancing out the windows hoping the tornado warnings weren’t anywhere near us. As the last of the rain trickled down, the sun began to set, lighting the skyline on fire.
March 13th, 2018. I don’t remember this day, but this view was unparalleled.
January 2nd, 2018. I spent a lot of time looking out on the patio. It isn’t often that you get such a beautiful sunset paired with fresh snow.
October 24th, 2017. I can vividly remember my sister just getting home and me shouting repeatedly that she needed to come look at the sky. She’s more of a bird person, so perhaps shouting “oh my gosh there’s a hawk” would have been more effective.
October 20th, 2017. I had finally wrapped up the horrible week and was headed home for my weekend that I’d taken off to go up to Green Bay. I never bought tickets because of how sick I was. The whole week was full of people trying to build me up and turning around and treating me horribly, and we all know how not fond of birthdays I am. But, I can feel the calm that swept through my car as I drove home from work. The sky was just reaching out reminding me of how beautiful life could be, we just had to look.
October 3rd, 2017. I didn’t wear pink but the sky did that morning, so that counts for something. Except, I was up much too early to get to Chicago… you know what they say “red sky at night makes sailors delight, red sky in morning makes sailors take warning”… guess who didn’t bring their rain jacket or umbrella to Chicago and guess who was really, really, really happy to crawl in bed that night.
September 27th, 2017. I may have caught this one at it’s peak. I should get this framed because honestly, this still takes my breath away like it did that night.
May 7th, 2017. I made a bunch of friends on the beach this night, chased the sunset with Torie and once the sun went down we had to escape the beach because even though it was beautiful there were more gnats than there are people in Charleston county.
April 29th, 2017. My favorite teacher got married at the most beautiful spot in Mount Pleasant. There was open access to the roof and I dragged someone I had just met up there because it was one of those oh my god I’ve got to get a better look at the sky moments. I’m convinced the best way to get to know someone is to follow a sunset.
April 3rd, 2017. One of the first slots available for giving our speech portion of our final exam. We sat there for two or three hours and as the last presenter was finishing up, we could see hints of the sky glowing from the tiny windows at the top of the classroom. We finally were dismissed to pick up the recording of our speech and myself and two other students sprinted down the hall to get outside to see the rest of the sunset. We stood there in awe before capturing a multitude of breathtaking photos. Going back inside to grab our recordings felt so small and everyone who had stayed inside had missed something so incredible and didn’t even know it.
March 24th, 2017. You thought going swimming in March would be fun. You froze, I laughed. The clouds were like spots covering the sky. There were more seashells that night than I’d seen in a long time.
February 13th, 2017. The night I drove home knowing I was actually transferring. I’d finally adapted to walking over the hill to get to the parking lot without losing my breath. I remember stopping thinking, wow, this place is absolutely beautiful, and that’s when I recognized that even some of the worst experiences of our lives still leave us with moments that can’t ever be replicated and beauty that will never be fully captured.
Sometime in 2015. I was on my way back from my brothers after a very disappointing football game. But, this moment is what I was looking at the moment I decided to move back home this past summer.
April 19th, 2016. All I can say is whatever event I was supposed to be at with the school store opened for concessions, I was late for. Like extremely late. And, yes I vividly remember the rude looks I received from the ROTC mom who was waiting for me with the keys. It was worth it.
March 29th, 2016. What a magical night. I’d gone to the restroom and on my way back to me and Caroline’s table, I couldn’t help but get more pictures of the sun setting. The sun is setting over the famous River Court in Tree Hill (Wilmington). To this day there isn’t a single place that makes me feel the way this cute little restaurant with red awnings does.
October 7th, 2015. I had developed a habit of riding around and spending a lot of time at the beach with Abby as she’d dance around painting suns in the sand. This was a good habit.
September 25th, 2015. Why it took my high school until my senior year to develop an ounce of school spirit is beyond me. Why it took me an entire year at the school to even attend a game is also beyond me, even though we lost miserably that night. But, just look at those Friday night lights.
So, set down your phone.
Look at the goddamn sky. Make your friends look at the sky. If they don’t care or would rather be with whoever’s in their phone, then find some new friends.
The best sunsets are the one’s we get to see. The one’s we chase. It doesn’t matter who else is there, although there is something magical about having that shared moment.
As Brett Eldredge puts so beautifully:
You had the sweetest dreams in your eyes
But burn with the fire chasing sunset skies
As much as I want to hold you I couldn’t hold you back