“You don’t know what you’ve got, until it’s gone.” I am not sure who said it first, but we all learned the merits of this old saying during our time in quarantine. Whether it was a visit with your favorite hair stylist or consuming your daily cup of Joe, these were obviously trite sacrifices to make in the face of a global pandemic. And yet, looking forward to these familiar activities we had taken for granted in the past helped get us through the mundane hours while we were safer at home.
Now, as events and business slowly open and find their footing in this new era, what comforts are you returning to? For me, visiting one of our local beaches during sunset was like catching a literal breath of fresh air after being trapped underground. It was a pleasant awakening to find a nice, socially distanced spot on our warm sands and watch Mother Nature do what she does best, dazzle us with immeasurable beauty.
Have you been back to the beach? In case you need a nudge getting sand under your feet, here are the top three out of one million reasons to catch a sunset this evening.
There is plenty of room to relax and spread out, so adhering to the 6’ social distance guidelines is easy. Is every group there being as responsible? Probably not, but that will be the unfortunate case in every venue so you just do your best. I happen to believe the benefits from a sunset, including Vitamin D induced total relaxation while sitting 100 yards from any other human are vital.
It is hard to find a miracle within an ordinary lifetime, let alone every single day at sunset. But the way the sun, wind, clouds, and sometimes rain interact and play with the waves, who are doing their own thing below, seems nothing short of a miracle. I’m sure there are more eloquent ways to describe it, but to see it is to really understand what I am talking about. It is cathartic to experience a sunset. The first time I heard and saw people clap during a Sarasota sunset I learned how having a deep appreciation for what is free to all of us can be a truly moving.
The vibe at the beach during sunset is entirely different than the hubbub of the day. Morning hours bring the families with all their “stuff,” wanting to get in and out before the littles get cranky and sunburnt. Then you have the partiers; those who are there from noon on with coolers loaded, which will ironically become unloaded while the “partiers” get loaded again. Follow me? It can get loud and rowdy.
But then, the couple of hours preceding sunset suddenly slow down and all that remain are the stragglers, too worn out from the day to raise much of a fuss. And, the sunset gang, people who are there for the show about to happen in the skies above the Gulf of Mexico. It is a nice mix of relaxed people, who lazily stroll back to their cars intent on letting the other pull out ahead of them from the parking lot. Why? Because people who have just witnessed a Southwest Florida sunset are happier than anyone else on the planet. Oops, that was Reason Number Four, but you get what I mean.
Photos courtesy of J Schwarzenbach.