I have had many romantic notions about the sun in my time. What sounds more romantic than hanging out on a beach watching the sunset? Or watching the sunset from the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii? Or staying up all night and watching the sunrise together?
The truth is, watching sunset on the beach caused one of the worst allergic reactions I’ve ever had–never did figure out what I sat on. Standing on Mauna Kea to watch the sunset caused light headedness and near hypothermia. And as for staying up all night to watch the sunrise, well, I haven’t actually managed to stay up all night since I was in my 20’s. Even then, by the time the sun was rising, I was nodding off.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets. The beach sunset in San Diego was the first time I’d watched the sunset from the West coast. We sat on a collection of rocks for a half an hour while the sun made its descent, slowly melting into the ocean at the end of its journey. In the foreground, a collection of sea lions barked a chorus to accompany the show.
As for Mauna Kea, the clouds sank below where we were standing. We were like the gods of Mt Olympus watching the sun follow the clouds until it disappeared beneath them. And, the tour that took us there provided parkas, so we weren’t really at risk of freezing to death even in the blistering winds that blew up the mountain at impressive speeds.
And the last time I watched the sunrise after staying up all night, I was at Daytona Beach on the East coast, watching the sun rise out of the water like a brilliant breeching whale.
These days, I’m shooting sunrise and sunset only when I happen to notice something interesting and I happen to have my camera handy. This is mainly because when I actually plan to shoot sunrise or sunset, I come home with about 1000 images that all look virtually the same. Then I spend hours comparing and deleting. It’s a time drain.
But maybe that doesn’t make them less romantic? After all, I took the shot of the sunset over the glass bridge when Pat and I were strolling around downtown Chattanooga holding hands, exploring our new city shortly after moving here. The image of sunrise over Market St was taken during a similar early morning walk along the riverfront.
Perhaps I’ve started taking the sun for granted. There was a time not so long ago when seeing the sun was a real treat, regardless where it was in the sky. In my home town, there are only 5 sunny days a year. I think that’s the average per week in Chattanooga.
Maybe that’s why I’ve once again ended up with so many photos of the sun?