5 Life Lessons Taught By a Sunset

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. -Henry David Thoreau
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. -Henry David Thoreau | Source

There's no better way to end a day than to watch the sun descend beyond the horizon. I may be biased, however, because I live in a small town on the Gulf Coast of Florida where sunsets are spectacular, to say the least.

But wherever you live, Nature sends valuable messages in unique ways. She offers clues that provide answers to life's questions--you just need to have ears to hear.

{"Ears" is not a noun in this sense. It's a verb, and protecting your hearing requires constant effort.}

These lessons are simple, but not easy. Take heed and enjoy precious rewards that money can't buy.

(#1) Beautiful Moments are Fleeting

Have you ever watched how quickly the sun descends past the horizon? Once it touches that clear-cut line, it disappears in a matter of moments.

Look away for a second too long and you've missed it.

The small crowd that gathers to watch the event knows this. Heads and lenses remain focused in the direction of the sun. Sunsets know no DVR.

Hundreds of people who drive by don't get it. They're rushing to dinner, to work, to a million and one things that they need to get done before the day is through.

As nature presents one of her most magnificent gifts--all for the taking.

Every day, beautiful moments pass us by. We're distracted by the worries of life.

Stuff needs to get done. The list never ends.

And the breathtaking, priceless moments pass us by because we're not paying attention.

Source
Source

(#2) Nature is Powerfully Generous

"All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world--not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind. -John Lubbock

Every time I take photos of a sunset, I'm disappointed with the results.

It's not that I expect something more, but there's something else that I wish I could convey. It isn't there in the final image.

There's a powerful force that accompanies a stunning sunset that can't be grasped by the push of a button.

Part of this force includes the other senses: the sounds of gulf breezes brushing through palm fronds, of fish propelling into the air and coming down with a kerplop, of boards underneath the feet of spectators strolling across the pier. There's that salt-water smell that seems to reach down into your lungs and heal from within.

But there's also something to experience that goes beyond the senses: The humility of being in the presence of something so grand. The endless expanse of sky that inspires childlike wonder in every generation.

The grace that is reserved only for those who show up.

If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying?  If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying? -Shantideva
If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying? -Shantideva | Source

(#3) It's Time to Move On

There's something so final about a sunset.

Once the glowing orb drops down into the water, that's it. The day is done. There's no going in reverse to right a wrong or change an answer or do that thing you said you were going to do but never got around to it.

The day is gone and it's not coming back.

Stop lagging around in a dense fog of "shoulda coulda woulda" and move on from this spot. You're not going to have another opportunity to live the day over again, so why waste your time?

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." -Emerson

Forever is composed of nows. -Emily Dickinson
Forever is composed of nows. -Emily Dickinson | Source

(#4) The Present Moment is All There Is

There are few events that can draw your mind into the present moment like swirls of tints and shades in a variety of textures, all enveloping you like a cosmic hug.

One fall evening, I rode my bike along a path that follows the water's edge. The majesty of the sky seemed to scream out: "Stop your running. Stop your busy mind. Stop your struggling. Just stop."

And the world obeyed.

Runners took breaks. Cars pulled over. People just stopped.

Suddenly, there was nothing else more important.

Nothing's for certain, it can always go wrong. -The Grateful Dead
Nothing's for certain, it can always go wrong. -The Grateful Dead | Source

(#5) Tomorrow Holds No Guarantees

The sun melts away over the horizon, leaving us in darkness.

We hope to enjoy its beauty again tomorrow, but there are no promises.

My mother died in a car accident at 36 years old. I would have never guessed that our kiss goodbye that day would be our last.

I'm sure it was a mystery to her, as well.

The Buddhists say that it's good to meditate on the fact that this day could be your last. The goal is to get rid of attachments to the future.

It might seem a bit morbid (or even scary) to think about the finality of life in this way. But to keep this idea in mind--to understand that the now is what's real and the future is just a daydream--draws your mind to the present so that you can appreciate the beauty of today.

Lessons From a Sunset: Are You Learning?

Everyone suffers. Everyone carries a heavy load.

It's easy to get distracted with problems and issues and injustices and injuries.

But we should remember that there are times when we all need to pick up our notebooks and sit in on Nature's lessons. There's no waiting for students who don't show up--she'll start class without them.

So let's make an effort to be present with ears to hear.

In the end, just three things matter: * How well we have lived  * How well we have loved  * How well we have learned to let go. -Jack Kornfield
In the end, just three things matter: * How well we have lived * How well we have loved * How well we have learned to let go. -Jack Kornfield | Source

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 6 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

True words my friend. The only way this hub would have been better is if it included pictures of you. So young and yet so wise. Excellent!

See, not one sarcastic word in this comment. I'll be you were wondering if it was really me writing it, weren't you? :)


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 3 years ago from Hudson, FL Author

Aww, gee. Thanks, Bill! You're the best.

I still like your comment even if though it didn't have any sarcasm. :D


stephanieb27 profile image

stephanieb27 3 years ago from United States

Beautiful hub!!!! Thanks for sharing! :)


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Beautiful hub, sentiments and especially, pictures! Thank you for sharing!


Radcliff profile image

Radcliff 3 years ago from Hudson, FL Author

Thank you, btrbell and Stephanie!

Stephanie: Thanks for the fan mail :) Please check out my sites: ifcavemombakedcookies.com has Paleo recipes, and paleopregnancyguide.com contains more info on the Paleo diet and lifestyle (even if you're not pregnant or trying)!


stephanieb27 profile image

stephanieb27 3 years ago from United States

Following you on Facebook now! :)

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