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On Sunrises and Sunsets

Updated on September 12, 2015

The Sun Rising over Mt. Diablo

Sunrise, September 12, 2015. #ROWW
Sunrise, September 12, 2015. #ROWW | Source

In Memory of Paul Walker

Today is Saturday September 12, 2015 and what would have been Paul Walker's 42nd birthday. To keep his memory alive, one of his best friends is hosting a sunrise/sunset event to raise money for Paul's charity Reach Out World Wide.

All across the planet people are taking sunrise and sunset pictures and submitting them to social media. Then, his good friend Jesse Briensendine is going to compile them into a photo album and video.


As a filmmaker, I never had the privilege of working with Paul, but word on the street was that he was a pretty spectacular guy. From my view he always seemed very genuine, kind, and was a little rebellious to the whole hollywood fame machine. I dig it.

In all of the Hollywood craziness, something I always admired about his reputation was that he never let it get to his head--and instead--deliberately chose to live a pretty quiet life in Santa Barbara.

In 2010, when the Haiti Earthquake struck, instead of just sending money, Paul wanted to get down and dirty—to use his own two hands to help a devastated region. He and a couple of his friends hustled to get supplies and access into the country to help with providing medical and emergency services.

ROWW, the charity birthed from paul's desire to help those in need, continues to be a lifesaving emergency response team dedicated to helping those affected by natural disasters.

Before It Rose, It Painted the Sky

Sunrise over Mt. Diablo. September 12, 2105 for ROWW fundraiser.
Sunrise over Mt. Diablo. September 12, 2105 for ROWW fundraiser. | Source

On Sunrises

What a beautiful morning it was—just stunning in every way. I trudged out of bed at 6:25, knowing that the sunset was scheduled for 6:47.

I live in a valley, so I knew that I would need to get up higher to get a good view of the sunrise. I jumped in my car and drove to a park down the street, then chased down the sun around the lake.

Some Thoughts on Sunrises

The beautiful thing about sunrises is that they come on so sudden. Boom! Over the mountain the sun appears.

What caught me off guard was just how quickly the sun moves. Within minutes, it wasn't just peaking it's head over the hill, it had emerged, and was rising quickly as a giant fiery ball. The sun is something we usually take for granted, but for me this morning, it was a shocking visual for how quickly time passes.

Something that struck me as personally pathetic was how very little I knew about the best places to watch the sunrise—which only shows how often I really stop to watch the spectacular beginning to each day. I actually used a compass to pinpoint due East so I would have a good idea of where to get the best shots.

Waiting for Night to Awaken

Watching for morning to arrive.
Watching for morning to arrive. | Source

On Sunsets

I spent all evening tracing the pathway to the sun, hoping for one of those sunsets that makes you feel alive inside.

Several years ago I remember watching as the doctor's pulled the plug on one of my friends. It was horrendous to watch human life leave this planet so violently and disgracefully. However, one of the things I do remember of that day was walking out of the hospital and seeing one of the most amazing sunsets I'd ever seen. I remember thinking, that it was a beautiful day to die. We all must, so why not go out with a bang that lights up the sky.

September 12, 2015's sunset wasn't anything like that. The evening fog rolled in and covered it as it fell, falling forever into a grey abyss that darkened with every rolling wave. It was anticlimactic and I felt a little gypt.

Some Thoughts on Sunsets

Normally, Sunsets are pretty—but why does beauty have to come at the end of something? It's this moment that we want to freeze and capture before it's forever gone—and no matter how hard we try, we can't seem to stop night from falling and erasing all of the color.

That's life. It's here for a instant and then it's gone.

We are born into this world much like a sunrise, quietly emerging into the world with soft light. Hopefully, if we've lived our lives well, we'll go out with a bang—like a sunset.

Shine on Paul, shine on. Today we remember you for reaching out. #ROWW

One Last Ride Before Dark

Paul would have loved to have been out there. Suddenly, the heaven opened, and light illuminated the surfers. A perfect last ride before nightfall. #onelastride
Paul would have loved to have been out there. Suddenly, the heaven opened, and light illuminated the surfers. A perfect last ride before nightfall. #onelastride | Source
Reach Out WorldWide
Reach Out WorldWide | Source
#ForPaul | Source


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    • AshlyChristen profile image

      Ashly Christen 

      3 years ago from Illinois

      i hope i am remembered enough for someone to write a beautiful article such as this about me. ones memory alone linked arm in arm with the sunset is tribute enough even. this made me smile instantly.

      much love


    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 

      3 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      This is a beautiful piece of writing, Jennifer, it fair brightened my day! Well done.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Why not indeed! But you will find established habits are difficult to change. It takes time. Good luck. "Early to bed....?"

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      3 years ago from California

      Perspycacious, Oh, I feel you! I've watched far more sunsets than sunrises. Although, I have been trying to change that and have watched a few. I got up at 5am and watched the stars a few days ago and I thought to myself, "Why don't I do this more often?"

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      3 years ago from California

      Thanks Ann. It's good to pause and reflect.

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      3 years ago from California

      Thanks Edward!

    • Availiasvision profile imageAUTHOR

      Jennifer Arnett 

      3 years ago from California

      Life is such a wonderful gift. Since, I've watched every single sunset. It's me time, where for 20 minutes I relax and watch the sun go down.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I see spectacular sunsets here in the Rockies, but as a writer prone to work late, I seldom see the spectacular sunrises to match the sunsets. Good piece of work here in this Hub.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      3 years ago from SW England

      A beautiful hub, a great tribute. I'm afraid I've never heard of Paul Walker but he obviously made his mark in more ways than one.

      I love your philosophical comments on sunrises and sunsets; you've captured the mood of them so succinctly.


    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's a great tribute to the deceased actor. This made me learn a lot more from wikipedia about Paul Walker's life. He was a great person.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      The sentiment and your photos are beautiful, Jennifer. Your thoughts on sunrises and sunsets give pause for reflection.

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 

      3 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      Your comments and photography are a fine eulogy to Mr. Walker. You've done well by his memory.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      This is a beautiful tribute, and reminds us that like life, the light of the sun casts and illuminates beauty in all of its phases.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A great tribute in memory of Paul Walker. I am sure he would be impressed to be remembered with sunrises and sunsets. Well done.


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