Daily dose of “now”

Staying in the present moment by admiring a spectacular sunset

Staying in the present moment by admiring a spectacular sunset

I admit it: I take way too many sunset pictures. A lot of them. Of course, when you live in Colorado, there are frequent opportunities to immortalize a beautiful evening with a quick snap of my iPhone.

Those sunset pictures that I post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (and now Medium), serve as a reminder to myself of the power of the present moment. They remind me of the state of mind I find myself in when I stop to bask in the beauty of nature.

We get spectacular sunsets in late fall and early spring here in Denver—the setting sun dropping below the Rocky Mountains catches the clouds at just the right angle to produce a canvas of vivid reds, oranges, yellows, pinks and purples. It doesn’t happen every single day, but frequent enough for most people to take notice.

On those evenings when the color is particularly vibrant or the clouds arrange themselves in just the perfect array, I always stop to marvel at the beauty of nature. Every time. A beautiful sunset literally stops me in my tracks.

When I admire a beautiful sunset, time stands still. My thoughts stand still. Gone are the worries about work; vanished are thoughts of politics; banished are cares and complaints. They are replaced with a quiet stillness that opens up space in my mind and spirit that is indescribable.

The feeling may last for two minutes or 20 but I do appreciate my special time with the Sun and consciously choose to honor it by pausing in quiet solitude and peaceful reflection.

And on those nights where the colors really speak to me, the phone comes out and I start shooting. I want to remember that peaceful space in my mind when I look at my photos at later times. I want others to understand what this type of experience means to me. I want to keep that feeling with me and be able to call upon it whenever I need a pick-me-up.

The photos remind me to stay in the “now,” that sublime place where action happens and magic is created. It’s a special place and I hope others take the time to appreciate it as much as I do.

For more on this topic, visit this post on sunsets in nature.