I sat and watched the sunset yesterday after a day of much work and hassle. I was hoping to be able to see a little bit of the eclipse, but was not fortunate to be far enough west to see the solar show. It was a good experience, nevertheless.
I haven't really paid attention to the setting of the sun for years. I used to watch regularly, waiting with eager excitement when I was beset by troubles or just a hard day of work.
There was a time during high school when I would go up to a then incomplete section of road near what is now the LDS Temple in the foothills of Bountiful to watch the sun set over the Great Salt Lake. During the summer it would set into an expanse of water between Antelope Island and Stansbury Point. The air was regularly heavy with the pollution of too many cars and the refineries at work to fuel them, so the show was spectacular. I still remember those visions, the panoramas taking hold of and filling my memory like no other has ever really been able to since.
There was a time when Drie and I were in the bottom of a slot canyon near Monticello, Utah, caretaking a desert fruit orchard while the sellers and buyers were trying to come to agreeable terms. Our little Volvo broke down and was left to be violated by country mechanics with no ability to even pronounce it's name, leaving us without transportation for the eleven mile trip out of the canyon for at least three weeks.
The sun rose up to an hour and a half late and set two hours early between the walls of the little canyon, leaving us without much in the way of sunrises or sunsets, at least without the colors associated with distant horizons. We were usually too tired for any hikes out of the slot early in the morning or after the day's work was done, so we didn't see the sun rise or set in the traditional sense. It really wore on me, I felt the absence of those glorious and contemplative moments like one misses the taste of fresh peach after a long winter or the touch of a lover away across the ocean. I remember my first sunset in Blanding across the desert south of the Blue Mountains after that long drouth well, also.
Now I am here. Events speeding me up and snatching conciousness or bringing full stop and poingnant feeling depending upon events beyond my control. Right now I am a sunflower tracking the sun from horizon to horizon, looking for the answers I keep questioning, feeling their bite and salve like this is my first amen.
Probably not my last, though.