May 20, 2008

On the Appreciation of Sunsets and Sunrises

(Stony Ridge, OH) I had the opportunity the other evening to kill some time in rural Northwest Ohio at sundown, and I also had the foresight to bring with me my Canon SLR. I spent about 20 minutes snapping away and catching one of the most beautiful Ohio sunsets in recent memory.

I suspect that the urge to watch sunrises and sunsets must be hardwired in us, because the connection between spirituality and the activity of the sun stretches far back into human existence. Yet even within our highly scientific, rational, materialistic modern selves there lurks a desire to stare at the heavenly color extravaganza that accompanies a picturesque sunset.

Those of you who live on the coasts of an ocean or large lake, of course, get more than your share of stunning solar displays, and I will forgive you for yawning at this post. Still, despite my excitement over seeing the sun rise or set over open water, I would rather experience one of these moments across a vast expanse of land, like those found in places like Ohio or Kansas.

There is a greater sense of your infinite insignificance when standing alone in the middle of nowhere than along a beach, where you sort of stand on the edge of two worlds, and where you are likely to encounter all sorts of vegetation or signs of human activity.

There are few activities I enjoy more than watching the horizonal disappearance or reappearance of the celestial body we call the Sun, and I would hazard a guess that everything goes better with a sublime sunrise or sunset.

Except outdoor lighting.

1 comment:

HumboldtsClio said...

Beautiful picture, but...

Ohio or Kansas?

Clearly you've never seen the sun set over the Painted Desert, or in Redrock country in Arizona. It's mind-boggling. And there's nothing quite like watching the sunset through a distant rainstorm in Eastern Montana.

I've seen the sunset n Kansas and east Colorado, and they just aren't much to see. :)