It has been a few weeks since I’ve penned a blog post and it has been a few weeks since I took the above photograph. I took it at a fellow educator’s house at an end-of-summer-back-to-school gathering. The end of summer break is always bittersweet. It has gone to fast, but I’m excited to get back to the classroom and a new set of students.
When I snapped this picture I had envisioned writing a witty post about the sun setting on my summer, but as the days went by I found myself unmotivated to write it and the coming school year sucking up my energy, creativity, and attention. So I gave myself permission to take a mini-hiatus from my blog post despite the fact the need to write and the desire to share the picture nagged at me.
Then a couple of weeks ago a co-worker’s husband died suddenly just as we were launching the new school year. That was followed this week with the sudden passing of a dear friend’s mama and I traveled with some of our friends to the funeral in Camden, South Carolina today.
It was a joyful funeral in the sense that the hymn choices were upbeat expressions of love and the homily given described a beautiful life lived in the caring of and giving to others that brought to mind that phrase, “All is well with my soul” and I could imagine my friend’s mama saying that at the golden gates. It was hard to see the grief etched on my friend’s face, knowing the only easing will be time and the grief will be carried forward through every holiday and life event even years from this moment.
I fear my peers and I are entering that season where more and more of us will say goodbye to our parents and this thought made me look at the photo of the sunset in an entirely different way.
We aren’t guaranteed a certain number of sunrises or sunsets, so we need to appreciate each one we witness and make the most of the days and nights between them. Fill that time living our best lives, being kind, telling people we love them and that they matter. Take time to sit and watch the sun slip down over the water and give thanks for the day we’ve been given, no matter the season, no matter what challenges the day may have brought.
Each day is a gift and I believe if I get to the end of one and I can think back on something kind or an expression of love I’ve given to another living being, then that gift has been honored.
May we all have many sunsets in our count when we get to our final one.