Pandemic perspectives on the Sun
Winter sunset from the park.
Of all my years living on the West Coast, which is most of my life essentially, I never really noticed how much where the Sun set moves through the seasons. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that actually. Particularly since my condo has a view of the West and I often watch the sunset or notice the setting Sun. But it wasn't until I moved here during pandemic that I really noticed. And it was because of the beach.
At the beach watching the Sun as it makes its late day journey down, I would often go to capture the beauty of that light, the beauty of that moment and also just to be there in that time of quietude. It’s often when in peak summer the geese are there. It's when people start to pack up and go home, not that there was ever lots of people at the beach. And now that the parameters of both pandemic and my own physical limitation with a broken foot have even more narrowed my ability to go very far, where the Sun sets now is still accessible to me in a way that it would not have been in the middle of the summer with the same condition, the same constraint. In the summertime often where the Sun really started to slide behind the visible horizon was quite a bit more North, often behind that curve of the bay where White Rock is. And then later just past that point looking off towards Point Roberts area, still North but a little bit more West.
Late spring looking North as the sun sets over White Rock.
And now, standing on the edge of the park overlooking the water it is really straight ahead, straight out to the open ocean. Of course not open, in the distance there are always islands. But whether we can see them Is always a question. But there is a broad expanse of water at that point before we hit land again. And the Sun seems to hover just above the water ....
In the late afternoon, really in the hour before the Sun is really considered to be setting, the Sun is still slightly to the South .... sometimes looking like it's going to come down just over Blaine, Washington Marina. But then it doesn't quite, in this moment.
I’m noticing that I can tell that the days have lengthened just a little bit again. Instead of setting at shortly after 4, the Sun is starting to hang around until closer to 5 again. Peak summer it set at often beyond 9:30 in the evening which is of course why it was that much more North by the time it was that low in the sky.
Summer sunset with geese.
Once again this time has been a bit of a gift, giving me this opportunity to notice .... And my constriction, too, has given me an opportunity to still find places that I can access to receive those moments of beauty. To find them in the hour even before we would traditionally think we would find them.
To see the light in this way ....
The Sun in so many ways that we don't consider, keeps us alive ....Providing heat for the Earth. Creating the conditions for photosynthesis. Nourishing the plants that we eat. And becoming the fuel for the oxygen that the plants offer back to us. And how little I paid attention ....
I know more now why people looked to the Sun as a representation of the Divine, the Life Giving. And observing the sunset with the sure knowledge that in the morning it would rise again continuing to gift us with its Life Giving.
Blessed be ....
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