in a newness of awe
I never before experienced;
that which seemingly occurred
the day before, the yesterday,
reiterated the today in such a special way
-From "Gasp" by Gillena Cox
Do you ever stop to watch the sunset?
While we don't see so many here in western Washington during winter, when we do it's often a spectacular display. (For you early birds, same can be said for the sunrise.)
Throughout the year I'm drawn to Puget Sound beaches to witness the sun slipping behind the jagged spine of the Olympic Mountains. Like a serrated knife facing skyward, these mountains slice the western horizon and provide a dramatic backdrop for day's end.
I can't get enough.
Most often I'm down at Carkeek Park near my home, where I also regularly walk in the woods. The big lawn with a panoramic view of the Sound is where I start, then cross over a pedestrian bridge spanning railroad tracks and down the stairs to the beach. (Passing trains always toot their horn to waving people clustered on the bridge above the tracks.)
Some evenings the beach is packed (usually nice weekend days), and sometimes I almost have the beach to myself. But there are always a few others there to witness the show.
One thing is consistent: I never tire of being there, never tire of hearing the gentle lap or rush of waves on the beach, never tire of seeing the sky change hues and clouds shift to shades of gold, pink, orange, and, sometimes, crimson red.
And I never tire of gulping in the visual feast of the Olympics cresting the horizon across the Sound.
When the sky darkens to early twilight, it's hard to tear myself away. Usually the evening chill finally drives me back to my car and on home.
Others come regularly. An older, wiry man can often be seen on the beach at Carkeek year-round, stripped down to bare chest and shorts, flailing his arms then plunging into the Sound for a few minutes of swimming in the cold water.
And I used to see an elderly couple parked above the beach every night silently watching the sunset. Haven't seen them for a few years now, but I still think of them and their evening ritual, grasping the remains of the day.
Where is your favorite spot to watch a sunset?
Thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons. I hope I inspire you to get out more and explore and protect this special corner of the world. Or even just appreciate your own slice of paradise, wherever you live.
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