Have You Ever…

Pull out of the parking lot. I-10 Service Road. Bullard. Hayne. Seabrook Bridge. Leon C. Simon.

Until I made the right turn onto Franklin, I had no destination in mind. It was just the very first time I had a car of my very own and — since the kids were with their father — nowhere to be. I drove up Lakeshore and all i could see was a row of sailboats, floating toward the sun. I pulled over into the first available parking place that offered a full view. I sat on the hood of my car, legs crossed and just watched the billowing, colorful parade that seemed to have no reason at all other than it was a perfect Tuesday for sailing.

In the time I watched old sails disappear and new sails present themselves, the sun grew fuller, bolder. It overpowered the lake, turning the almost dark water into a roiling bronze. The white and pastel sails turned to shadow, and the more brightly colored sails took on a sort of muted gold. The sky itself was “the raiment of God’s glory.”

In the time that I stared, the sun moved from midlevel to brushing the tip-tops of the sails. Two brave schooners remained in defiance as the wind died down, becoming insignificant specks as the sun continued to lower. Each time I blinked, the sun closed the distance between the horizon a bit more. So I stopped blinking.

My eyes burned, then blurred. Still fought blinking. I didn’t want to miss the moment. They hurt. They itched. I fought. Then…*blink* Shit. The bottom dipped below the horizon.

One-fourth. One-half. Two-thirds. Three-fourths. Seven-eighths. Gone.

I felt the wetness on top of my shirt. My eyes were watering from not blinking. I blinked and wiped them. They became full again. *sniff* These were regular tears. My tribute for witnessing something so awesome.

I sat there in the darkness until the tears stopped and the moon appeared. I sat in my car a few more minutes and promised that I would do the same thing the following week.

I didn’t. Not the next week, nor the week after. Not in any of the weeks since, for that matter. What happens in my life that I can only truly watched the sun set once in 39 years? I need to reprioritize.

Have you ever watched the sun disappear?

You should.

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