Sunset 2013

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Sunset
Photo by Kit Guest, Ventura, CA, December 2013

As 2013 began to draw to its close, the skies over southern California began to light up. For several weeks in December, many of us would be on our way into the house to make dinner only to become spellbound. More than once, the early risers among us caught the moon fading into a glory of blues, golds, violet and, salmon. Pictures of sunsets and sunrises passed among friends on Facebook, were sent to relatives back east by email, or were snapped on smart phones and shared with any who happened to be nearby.

It wasn’t just the singular beauty of each moment that caught us by the heart and wouldn’t let go. It was the unprecedented abundance of such moments. Each night, each morning offered a new gift of light, a new chance to feel our bodies turn towards the light and stop, transfixed. The palm trees we passed every day without a glance went black against the sky as if scorched or danced in the softening light, fronds shining.

There is no such thing as an ugly sunrise or sunset. It’s just that the beauty is often more subtle, so subtle we may forget to look. When the skies lit up this month, some of us wondered what it meant — was it some new weather pattern? It’s possible. But it is also possible that the heavens were hurling bolts of beauty at us to make us stop, to make us look, to rob us temporarily of our speech and our thoughts which keep us from noticing the every day beauty that surrounds us. Look now, the skies seemed to be telling us. Look deeply.

Or, maybe this was 2013’s way of saying good-bye.

Happy New Year! Thank you to each and every one of you who has made my first year with this blog a joy. Here’s to healthy, happiness, and peace in the year ahead.

Sunset transforms a utility pole outside my house.

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A utility pole outside my house is transformed by the sunset

The next day, sunrise – a new day

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December sunrise, Point Loma, December 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise, Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise, Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise, Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise, Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise, Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise (and moon-set), Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise, Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

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December sunrise, Point Loma, 2103
Photo: Elizabeth Marro

Many thanks to my sister, Kit Guest, who provided the photo of the sunset from Ventura at the opening of this post. Her eye for beauty and gift for capturing it never cease to delight all who know her.  If anyone else has photos of sunrises or sunsets they would like to share, please give us all a way to look at them and appreciate them as the year comes to a close.

18 thoughts on “Sunset 2013

  1. My son’s family in southern Calif. has been commenting on the unusually warm weather this time of year. Perhaps temperature has something to do with the red skies. The photos are great and would make me stop in my tracks too. It also reminds me of an old saying: “red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

    • My father, who spent his youth in the Merchant Marines, always quoted that saying to us. It doesn’t always pan out exactly but it does more often than not. I’ll take the red sky at morning even if what follows is not the clearest of skies. Happy New Year!

  2. Thank you as always, Betsy, for this beautiful reminder of what is important. I know right where in Ventura your sister took that photo and it brought me a little bit of “home.”

  3. Beautiful post. I spent time in the area a very long time ago. The sunrises haven’t lessoned in anyway over that span of time. Thank you for reminding me and sharing them. -Max-

  4. Nice to meet you! Gorgeous photos and I loved what you shared~ Yes, our hearts know their home! I understand exactly how you feel-I am a military spouse and all that moving-still trying to get back home! Cheers to home and the love of family! (Off to read your prayer)

  5. Your post brought back many fond memories of sunsets in La Jolla, when I worked at Scripps. I used to go up to the Southwest Fisheries Center and sit right there on the cliff, watching the sun slide down into the ocean. Sometimes I’d have a friend with me and we’d share a bottle of wine. Those were great times, and some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. Great post, Betsy. Thanks! And Happy New year to you! I’ll be seeing you in a few days!

  6. Elizabeth, thank you for your kind comments on my blog. I tried to return your email but it bounced back so I will reply here. The contest was very spur of the moment… I’m sorry you didn’t see it sooner. I’ll probably do another one and give more time to enter. Your photos are really stunning here. Happy 2014!

  7. I have also been drawn to the skies this year and find myself taking photos of sunsets regularly or pulling over my car when I see an interesting cloud formation. Beautiful pictures and interesting thoughts.

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