The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sunrises vs Sunsets




I was driving home from a jaunt down to Naples and then up through Sarasota. This little ride took more than a few hours and entailed a stop over in Sarasota for some Sam's Club shopping. What all that meant is that the sun was going down as I got within a few short miles of my house. And I was treated to beautiful sunset colors off to my left that slowly stretched across the sky. A sunset through the pines (we have a lot of pines in Florida) with the remains of storm clouds overhead is a symphony of colors from blues to pinks to reds to oranges with a multitude of hues in between. They are indescribable in mere words. Master painters struggle with their depictions (though they try mightily) and the photographs and movies fall somewhat short of the glory of a sunset. I was reminded of my mother's love of sunsets. She thought Florida had the most beautiful sunsets of all.

It isn't true. I have seen sunsets in many states of this country and in a few other countries. sunsets are, most of the time, simply the epitome of transient beauty. They are an evolving composition of color and emotion, which is what makes them so hard to describe, paint, or even capture in a photograph. They are rivaled only by sunrises. A sunrise is not simply a sunset in reverse. It has its own colors and emotions.

The environment has an effect on the beauty and its perception. As do the events prior to the time of each. I am especially partial to sunrises.


I was in Daytona Beach visiting a friend just before I entered the Navy when I witnessed a sunrise that I can conjure up mentally easily. Another friend and I had driven up the day before, arriving late in the evening. Of course we spent the next many hours talking and drinking as we went over old times and future plans. Before we realized it, it was dawn. My friend was living in a motel on the beach and we had been sitting facing the ocean while we talked and talked (and drank and drank). We went silent as the sky slowly transitioned from black to blue to orange to red and the ocean followed suit. The sun slowly rose above the horizon as we watched. There were clouds above the horizon whose base reflected all the colors. As the sun continued to rise and pass its equator, it began to elongate.... to stretch. And then it started to narrow at the middle. Still moving up, the "waist" of the sun grew narrower and narrower until it seemed that there were almost two suns connected by a thin, short, string of sunfire. And then they separated and there were two suns, one above the other for just a split second. At the same time, the colors danced in the sky above and around them.

It was only the effects of reflection on the ocean which was calm and silky. But the images are forever burned into my brain along with the emotions of friends facing separation for the first time seemingly permanent.

I had always loved sunrises, even before that morning, having watched a number of them over the ocean as I grew up in south Florida (and spent way too many nights roaming the beach overnight). But that one has never been rivaled by any I have seen since.

Sunrises or sunsets, no one paints as wondrous a scene as Mother Nature.






8 comments:

Butler and Bagman said...

WOW! WHAT A SUNSET! ONE OF THE BEST EVER!!!!!!

Cheri said...

Talk about a word picture.

And your line about a sunrise not being a sunset in reverse.

Wonderful description.

Brenda Bowers said...

Ditto on Cheri's comment. as I was about to say something like that.

I did love watching the sunsets from clearwater beach. Thought they were the most beautiful I had ever seen. Then I spent time in Yuma Arizona and learned there is nothing to compare with a desert sunset. I even once saw the illusive green flash. BB

Brenda Bowers said...

My spelling is not that bad but my typing is horrid. And it's just that I don't see the darned mistakes until after I post. BB

Douglas said...

Thanks all. In Key West, you get the best of both worlds, I think. You watch the sun rise over the Atlantic and then (many drinks and walks later) watch it set over the Gulf of Mexico. I suspect that can be done on any island but in Key West, it is a tradition. I highly recommend it.
Every place, mountains, desert, forest, coasts, have their own special sunrises and sunsets. The best are almost always when you are with those close to you.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful photo. I know the kind of sunrises you're talking about. Every time I see one, this verse comes to mind:

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." (Psalm 19:1)

And, "since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

Douglas said...

Anonymous - See Self

Brenda Bowers said...

Ditto on Cheri's comment. as I was about to say something like that.

I did love watching the sunsets from clearwater beach. Thought they were the most beautiful I had ever seen. Then I spent time in Yuma Arizona and learned there is nothing to compare with a desert sunset. I even once saw the illusive green flash. BB