There’s a certain time of the day when the world slows down and you can’t help but wonder.
I experienced one of those times last month as my husband and I walked the beaches at sunset on Marco Island, Florida. As warm breezes gently reorganized the clouds in the sky, pelicans skimmed the waters in search of their dinner and children raced along the shoreline squeezing one last ounce of fun out of the remnants of their day, I wandered and I wondered.
Looking up into the sky, it was almost as if someone unexpectedly tapped me on the shoulder and asked me, Hey! Have you done everything that you ever wanted to do, needed to do in this lifetime—and have you done it well?
It’s funny how such a grand sunset can make one feel so small. It’s not like I don’t see sunsets at home all the time, I do. I live at the beach. But somehow, this one felt different. Instead of leaving me with warm and mellow feelings, this fiery red sky sent out a challenge—Wake up! Live a little more. Laugh a little more. Challenge yourself to try something different. Be the best person you can be. See the good in others. Stop whining about the petty things. Tell your friends and family how much you love them.
Wow! That was some unsettling sunset, and the best thing that could have happened to me. It made me stop and think and I felt somehow rejuvenated, convinced that I would not forget all that I had been inspired to do.
But by the time I sat in the airport for five hours waiting for a long overdue flight, watched two women get into a weird cat fight over who was looking at who, got on an airplane where nothing seemed to be working, moved from carousel to carousel in search of my misplaced luggage and finally collapsed in my bed at four a.m., I had forgotten everything. Until this morning, when I pulled this picture up and started thinking. I’ve got a lot to do before the sun sets tonight. I think I’ll start with a cup of hazelnut coffee and tell my husband that I love him.
I hope you too find an inspiring sunset of your own.
The painter stares at the canvas waiting for an image to appear. Patiently, he waits until a faint imprint of a landscape or a face emerges. He then grabs a brush and dabs it into the paint on his palette, making haste to reach the canvas with his brush to capture the image. The artist contrasts shade and light. He tightens or increases space. His brush moves rhythmically or scratches across the linen to make the colors and texture warm or cool. The work he renders leaves the viewer feeling airy or heavy.
That’s how I feel when I write. I stare at a blank page as though something secret lay hidden deep within the fibers and emptiness, that by patiently waiting will reveal itself to me. So I wait…until a word, a phrase, or a picture appears.
Could it be that the blank screen or journal page is a powerful mirror able to enlighten my own ideas and thoughts? Is it I who write on the paper; or does the paper draw out what is inside of me?
My words pour out and my hand races across the page. My mind tries to keep up with both for they seem to move of their own volition depicting moments dark and light. Paragraphs heavy laden with emotion yield and give way to joy and humor, while spacing slows or hurries the reader along.
Finished, I sit back exhausted and, ignoring my headache, I read what I wrote. Awestruck, I ask, “Where did this come from?”
My trembling fingers turn the leaf to uncover a new blank page and my sweaty palm smooths the journal sheet flat. Pen in hand, I sit ready to capture another treasure. My eyes dilate seeking and waiting for new wonders to behold.
See you next time on May 22nd.
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