Although it happens every day, the experience of it is never the same. The sun setting that is. We may have days when we don't even notice it happening. It just fades away in the background of our busy lives, disappearing without any attention paid to it. Apparently not worthy of our focus.
At other times it almost forces its presence on us. The bright colors, the unusual shadows cast by it, the weird shapes of clouds as they change their form as if waving the sun goodbye and the disappearing light make us stop whatever we are doing to sit up and take notice. We might just look out the window or we may be moved sufficiently to get outside and take a better look. We might even grab our cameras, or handy iPhone, to take a photograph. If we're at home the back shed and neighbour's fence may be in the foreground of the image, but we at least feel like we've captured the moment. It becomes more real when we have the photograph of it.
When we are lucky enough to be able to seek out the sunset, perhaps on holiday, or as part of our new year resolution to be more mindful, more aware of nature, we can genuinely participate in the experience of the sun setting. We can marvel at the way in which this occurs each night. We can be impressed by the changing sky, the movement of the sun gradually towards, and then beneath, the horizon. We can get a glimpse of the world that is bigger than us, greater than our single existence.
Sometimes we share this experience with others. We might plan it, like a special moment to share with family members or a partner. Sitting together sharing the experience, embedding the memory in our mind. Or we might become part of a community who are experiencing the sun setting together, although we don't know each other. The experience can lead to people talking to each other, noting the changes in the sky, commenting on how special it is. A noticing of each other, as well as the sun itself. Funny how a natural experience like this serves to bring strangers together.
With the dawning of social media we can then share our sunsets with each other. We can be in different parts of the state but share the same sunset; another reminder of how we are all in this life together, physically far apart, but yet so mentally and emotionally close.
There's something about the sun setting that can just stop us in our tracks. Forces us to sit and wait. Not moving or getting distracted by our usual distractions because we don't want to miss the next stage of the event. Perhaps it's nature's way of teaching us another lesson.