I anticipate for many readers, watching a sunset is not brand new. Slowly, steadily, the sun rests and we marvel at its orange hues. Sometimes the clouds desire to join as the sun’s sleep draws near. Seeing the fullness of the sun’s lowering not always clear.
As I watched this particular sunset I was struck by how there was not a steady darkening. As time marched later and later, moments of brightness mingled in between. If it wasn’t for the gift of a camera and a clock, my eyes might believe differently, certain that I was only watching the clouds and sun dance mid-day and not the sun’s setting.
I marveled at how the clouds not only moved left to right or right to left hiding the sun’s yawning. Child-like the sun also played peek-a-boo, or maybe more like an artist with an unveiling. Ever so elegantly the sun’s forehead appeared and then gracefully its chin was displayed. It also spoke to the seagulls who decided to swoop, frolic, and play. People walking, sitting, holding a camera like me. I anticipate each of us our own perception of the day’s closing.
This past week someone shared their wisdom about greater listening. That person in the checkout line ahead of you, or that walker on the beach – what do you think their “I statement” would be? Translation – what support or encouragement do you think that person needs? If they were to turn to you and bravely say “I feel scared of” or “I wish that I could”, what would be the remainder of their sentence they speak? We use phrases like “be the change the world needs”, yet do we know what that might be? Are we listening from where we are at in our perceptions, experiences, and judgments, too? Or do we listen with a still mind and open heart fully to the other’s view.
I overheard people exclaim as I sat watching this sun-setting display; “the sunsets can be so beautiful here, but not today”. Yet, from my vantage point I was beholding a beautiful peaceful night. An extraordinary showing in this vividly colored sky.
Of course, true to me, I wanted to say to these dear souls, “oh, but look at how the orange reflects off the water as the seagulls dance gleefully”. Or “look at how serene it is with the wisps of purple threaded in between”. Yet, then I would be meeting people where I was at, wouldn’t I, and not necessarily fully listening? Perhaps if I saw one of the breathtaking sunsets they were longing for, I would see differently.
Ah, the joy of life in balancing listening, seeing, showing, and learning. In that dance, human flourishing.