Never Be Too Jaded to Appreciate Amazing When You See It

Sarasota Bay, My Lifeblood ©Lynne Buchanan
This one is for you, Dad.  When I was at my parent's house over the holidays, my father suddenly yelled for me to grab my camera quick and go outside.  My father is 84-years-young.  He has been living in this house on Sarasota Bay since I was 11 years old and I hate to say how long ago that was.  Anyway, let us just say he has watched a lot of sunsets.  When he called for me, he sounded very urgent.  I have been his daughter for a long time, so I understood the timber of his voice.  I snatched my camera and ran out through the sliding glass doors without thinking twice and saw this.  I truly about fainted.  It was like the sky and water were bleeding.  When I was done photographing and came inside, my father said he had never, ever seen a sunset like this in all his years on this planet.  This is the view from his backyard, so he sees sunsets every day.  

A photographer I know once told me that she never photographs sunsets.  They are too cheap.  I suppose she meant easy.  The colors are there and if you expose them right, you can make great images–especially if you modify the colors a bit in Photoshop or some other program.  

Perhaps she had a point, but her point was only valid if it is necessary for you as the photographer to prove that you are exceptionally skilled and that nature has only a small role in your creation.  Frankly, if you don't want to photograph something like this and burn this visual in your mind forever to call upon in times of stress, medical hardship, loneliness, challenge, whatever, you are crazy.   Let me just say that I did not modify the colors at all, except to back them off a little because it was too intense to be believable.  Sometimes we get so incredibly jaded.  Sunsets happen every day.  Why should we care? 

All I can say to that is that to me, each time the sun rises or sets it is a miracle, no matter how dramatic or not it is.  When I see something like this, I just want to scream and jump up and down with joy, amazement, love, and gratitude.  I don't know about you, but this is why I am here on this planet.  To show up at moments like this and thank God I can still feel my blood course through my veins a little faster and the air fill my lungs a little deeper.  

We are only here for a short flash, like this incredible burst of color, and then we are gone.  Sometimes, I wonder how long that will be and consider counting the hours, minutes, and seconds, but that is pointless, I know.  It is not up to me when it will all end.  It will just happen sometime.  This weekend was my 40th high school reunion and I was saddened to see how many of my peers had passed on.  I was also grateful how many people showed up–an amazing percentage actually considering how small the two classes they combined were.  I wasn't going to go, but then I did because I figured how many 40th high school reunions can you have.  I was so glad I attended too.  Memories were triggered, friendships reignited...

Sunsets like this, momentous high school reunions, all these things are fantastic and mind blowing and I applaud them.  But the little moments, the not so spectacular sunsets, the quiet intimate exchanges we have with life, they should be treasured too.  Sunsets are not cheap.  No aspect of life is without the greatest worth.  Celebrate every single moment you have and let go of your expectations of how fantastic things should be.  Sunsets like this happen when you least expect them.