Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Trio of Sunsets

                  A TRIO OF SUNSETS

I think sunsets are one of God's most beautiful visual gifts.  Every sunset is different and the colors God paints across the sky each and every evening are incredible.  Sometimes the sunset is subtle, while other times it blazes with awe-inspiring magnificence, but each is unique and original.

I've chosen three different sunsets from my travels in the last two months to give you a quiz.  Which sunset is taking place in which location?  One is in the Outer Banks, one in Arizona, and another over Rhode Island.  I don't think it'll be too hard to figure out which is which (in fact, the top one is a definite "gimme") -- the answers are listed below.

I Googled, "where does the sunset get its color" and was given a scientific explanation mentioning such things as air molecules, wavelengths and scatterings.  I prefer to describe a sunset as I see it -- a wonder to behold in sparkling, clear gold or soft pink with hints of lavendar and purple, or silver and white with backgrounds of rich navy, or blazing with orange.  There are as many descriptions as there are sunsets.  And always, I am reminded of God whose love, creativity and joy in beauty made a world that includes a glorious sunset each and every day.  I can't help but grin from ear to ear as I consider such an amazing gift -- and it's just one of millions of gifts He offers to us during our lifetimes.

Ready for the answers to the quiz?

1.  The first silvery sunset is, of course, in Tucson, Arizona with three armless suguaro cactus standing in silhouette along the ridge.  I enjoyed a lovely four-day visit there in May. 

2.  The sun dips toward the Currituck Sound, darkening the clouds to navy with smudges of pink along their edges -- and a lovely gazebo painted black by the dimming light.  Our extended family enjoyed a week's stay in Duck, NC, in June.

3.  The gold sky created by the setting sun over Newport, Rhode Island, makes me think of the gold streets of heaven.  The color looks so pure and clear painted across the sky.  Larry and I enjoyed a port call in Newport in May for part of one day. 

Each time the sun sets, it signals the end of another day, which brings us one day closer to walking on those streets of gold.  But before that day comes, I'm going to enjoy every sunset I can feast my eyes on -- and I'm going to praise and thank God for every one of them!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Birthday

My birthday was in May while I was visiting in Tucson, Arizona. I decided to get up and watch the sunrise and start celebrating the day I was born bright and early. This is very unusual for me, so you know I treasure my birthday. I actually got up at 4:30 am (the sun didn't rise until 5:55 am).

It was chilly out on the terrace of the lovely, large home in which I was staying. The desert and its distant mountains were a bit dark, but could still be seen. I heard birds calling and singing, and just enjoyed the solitude of time alone with the Lord who created me. I become introspective on my birthday and I also think of my mother and father and how happy they were to welcome a little, dark-haired baby into their family. They'd waited a long time and I was an answer to prayer. It makes me feel so loved and special to know that I was an answer to their prayer (:

As I began my journey on Route 66, I wrote a poem that morning, here's how it goes:

The pale light of morning rims the ragged edges of the gray mountain.
Birds tune their voices and raise their varied songs in praise to the God who brings another day.
Plaintive cooing of a distant dove is like the tolling of a bell, announcing the coming event -- a new day is born!
Cactus dot the hillside -- their arms raised awaiting the arrival of the sun and praising their maker with every ounce of their being.
The sky grows lighter, like a pale blue bowl edged in white.
A bird perches atop a cactus and warbles a shrill tune as I look for the first hint of color.
Still, light teases the mountaintop, pacing itelf for its minute by minute journey across the sky.
It seems in no hurry to make its quiet entrance into the day.
The chill of the morning surrounds me as I eagerly await the warmth of the sun.
Silver light of the moon fades to gold as we bid its waning presence "adieu" and turn our eyes to the eastern sky.

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help -
My help cometh from the Lord -- maker of heaven and earth" -- and every sunrise known to man.
My life is in your hands -- every breath -- every fiber of my being belongs to You, O Lord.
I thank you for yet another sunrise that glorifies your name and who You are.
I join the sun in praise to Your Almighty Power and loving heart.
Within my heart I celebrate the day of my birth upon this earth --
The beginning of an amazing journey that has brought me to this spot on this day -- sitting at the feet of the One who created me.
Sixty-six years God has held me in His loving arms and -- with the Psalmist, I say, "I trust in you, O Lord; my times are in your hands." Thank you for this day!

To the poem, I add a birthday prayer: "I don't want to miss the wonder of the moment -- of every moment. Oh, God, I don't want to go through the motions of life. I want my life to count for You. Praise the Lord, oh, my soul, and bless His Holy Name."