There is a mythos about sunrises and sunsets, especially sunsets, that says they’re beautiful, you can’t miss them, you have to see as many spectacular sunsets as you can, and at least one sunrise each year. There are places you’re supposed to go to see the perfect or most beautiful of each. But really, I don’t know how people can claim or believe that. It is not necessarily the moment of sunrise or the moment sunset that is the most gorgeous. The most gorgeous times are the befores and afters that offer us much more than a moment and a flash of green. There are the changing colors and the changing light levels. There is disappearance or appearance of stars, or of phosphorescence if you’re near any salt water. I find it hard difficult to believe that anyone would walk away from either the before or after just because the ‘moment’ was gone.
Both the befores and the afters have their positive attributes. In the morning you’ve risen early and can catch the quiet and the fresh, newness of the day. And you’ve got the entire day ahead of you and all the tasks, good and bad, and all the pleasures of the day to anticipate. In the evening you have the day behind you and can bask in your triumphs and either plan how to improve the less positive times in your day – or just forget about them. Or, for both, you can watch the show, listen to the sounds, smell the smells and let your mind relax and go wherever it likes. There should be no agenda to watching a sunrise or sunset, just being in the experience can be and should be enough. Would you rather enjoy just a short moment in the middle of a sunrise or sunset (or your life) or would you rather allow yourself to experience the entirety of the show?