Sunset provokes deep reflection. This particular sunset lesson inspires insights and suggests ways to authentically magnify your own brilliance.
My wife loved sunsets.
Actually, that’s a pretty lame understatement. Karen really, really loved sunsets. Any sunset. Every sunset.
These magical, fleeting moments spoke to her in profound ways.
So, we watched many!
Karen’s family and friends never tired of her fascination, and her social media reflected her awe. In our California home, Mother Nature seldom disappointed; with only the occasional overclouded evening obscuring the spectacle she so eagerly anticipated at the end of the day.
I was always moved not only by the heavenly optical display, but also by her childlike joy and her full participation in the ethereal moment. Her iPhone camera valiantly attempted to capture each subtle nuance.
Most times, I simply stood with her, holding her close, to soak in the moment together.
Other times, the mystical pageant seemed to offer a profound message.
In Southern California, the “tourist sunsets” are spectacular. The clear blue skies declare the enormity of our cosmos, while the sparkling ocean highlights more proximal delight. The giant eye-searing orb gradually recedes towards the horizon, before gently sliding out of view. Lucky witnesses enjoy a brilliant green flash as the sun achieves its momentous spectral transition.
Perhaps unexpectedly, cloudy skies inspire more nuanced, memorable sunsets.
Sunlight that reflects off the clouds takes on supernatural colors; a natural phenomenon that resonates deep within the human psyche.
I was watching one of these dramatic cloud-boosted sunsets recently, feeling Karen’s closeness.
I was struck by the similarity between this dazzling, reflected light fest, and her own life.
Many people appreciated Karen’s light and energy—a deeply moving observation in its own right. But what made her truly magnificent was the way her light reflected off people around her.
A passionate and committed educator, she has enhanced the lives of thousands of young learners. More powerfully, her deep maternal affection and unwavering devotion continue to illuminated the lives of our four children. She has, forever, profoundly enriched my own life.
Her reflection off these human clouds remains a dazzling display of beauty, courage, hope and promise, and will endure well beyond the fading of her own mortal light.
Karen’s reflected glory holds a lesson for all of us:
Who will reflect your glory? Entrust them with your life-giving light in the sure knowledge that they will magnify your own aura unselfishly, spreading beauty and love throughout the world.
And whose light do you reflect? Honor their glory by amplifying their brilliance and energy!
Wishing you many powerful sunsets!
I am fascinated by the impact of natural phenomena on the human psyche. We are all connected—to each other, and to the infinite cosmos that is our home.
At times, I try to understand the science of these exquisite interactions. At times, I simply stand in awe, a humble observer.
This is the first in a series of reflections on the power and impact of the setting sun that are published in the full anthology titled Sunset Lessons.
The series is dedicated with immeasurable gratitude to the life and legacy of my beautiful wife Karen, whose mortal journey ended prematurely during a spectacular sunrise, and whose memory will forever be enshrined in the light at the end of the day.