My First Summer Sunset of 2021

So last Friday, nature beckoned to me and I ended up watching my first summer sunset – at the very end of it. While watching, I ended up reflecting on everything and recorded a voice memo. Below is the transcription of that, cleaned up a little. What had started out a bit melancholic for me ended up being a beautiful experience, which I would like to share with you all.

I also recorded this in podcast format if you would like to listen to it spoken in my voice here. (6:06)

A Stream of Consciousness – Friday, August 27, 2021

As I sat dicking around on my computer this evening, I couldn’t help but notice the room had a great orange glow coming through the window. In fact, it looked like outside was practically in flames the way the light came in and the glow it gave everything around outside. I was admiring it and I had to step outside to a least get outside a little bit for the day and to really experience being in the emanating glow. When I got outside, I started taking pictures like I always love to do when it comes to nature. Suddenly, I had a thought and realized “wow, you know what? I don’t think I’ve actually just sat and watched the sunset at all this summer.” In fact, when thinking further about it, I don’t think I have since Sean died last summer, June 13, 2020. I then realized how we’re at the very end of summer – now summer is basically gone. Summer used to be my favorite season – summer was always my favorite. Then Arman left that one shattering summer. I thought summer was ruined for me for summer had been Arman and my season.

Then Sean entered my life in a beautiful way and he appreciated nature and just being outside like I did. He reintroduced me to summer fun; I learned to enjoy summers again. We would always be outside as much as we possibly could regardless of the season, but especially in the summer. I remember we watched many a summer sunset in the powerline field behind the first place we lived at together, often leading to evening picnics and drinks, and sometimes even going back out for midnight picnics in the field. Enjoying summer was a lot easier when we had a cars, but even in the years when we didn’t, we would still get outside and just enjoy our lives and the little things surrounding us. I miss those many nights we would just hang out on our back patio and walk around the lake at night. But not this year and not last year did I really enjoy my summers. I have not put myself in nature enough to just enjoy its simple pleasures, immerse myself as much as I really should, and just appreciate it. I know once winter comes I’ll be whining about how I can’t wait till it’s nice again outside, but have I taken advantage of that at all this summer? As I am saying this into the recorder right this moment, a flock of geese in the shape of V just flew out right in front of me; they know summer is fading away.

Anyways, back to the sunset. So thinking about how I had yet to watch a sunset, I went up little hill to where there’s a big, grassy clearing. I sat down and I actually watched the sunset – well as much of it as I could see over the condos of my neighborhood – but I saw enough to appreciate the marvelous watercolor gradient of the sky. I still had a miraculous view and it was truly gorgeous outside. I’m glad at the window called to my attention with its blazing orange light. I sat down and I watched this beautiful sunset unfold.

Then I started to get sad. I started to miss Sean. I started to miss taking pleasure in the things in life that I, we, used to always enjoy. I miss having someone there beside me. Yes, I’ve been okay. Yes, I’ve been doing pretty well with my life, but doesn’t mean I’ve been truly appreciating everything as much as I could and should. As I sat there, I realized that since he’s died, I obviously lost yet another little something in me.

But yes, I stayed there though, I wasn’t going to let another one pass me by, especially after that realization I had just had. I sat there to truly take it in and watch it till it faded. Watching over the horizon, I noticed there was a big black, well not exactly a black box, but dark box where a cloud was obstructing some of the canvas of the sunset. This stirred me. I couldn’t help but feel its emptiness, reflecting the little bit of emptiness inside of me. That missing piece cut out of me where the darkness shrouded my light. It held my gaze for a while as I sat there just reflecting about that.

From this though, a curiosity arose in me and I had to see if there was more to it that the buildings were hiding. So I backed further and further and further. And then, what just happened to appear from that patch of clouds but the shape of a heart. The shape of that lonely box transformed into a symbol of love. Albeit an upside down heart, but still a heart. It reminded me of when Sean and I started dating that he couldn’t draw hearts. I had to teach him, though he still never really quite got it down, haha. This heart made of clouds drew me in deeper than that small little dark box did. I felt love, appreciation, and a little less alone.

As the colors faded from the sky more and more, after a good solid few minutes of holding my gaze in awe, the heart shifted began to resemble a swirling cloud of smoke as the atmosphere carried it away into the evening. In this newly found evening, nature decided to give me another little present as the bats began to take off for the night. This reminded me of my childhood, which while I’ve always been fond of nature, was probably the time it held the most amazement for me, brought on by childhood naivety and curiosity. At the house I grew up in, there was a bat that made its home in one of the windows and we would watch take off for its evening adventures every night. We called her(?) “Stella.” As I’m saying this right now, the bats are still flying around me, taking off for what is their day. I’m watching them go in circles and it’s making me giggle. A far cry from the way I was feeling just a few brief moments ago.

After having these feelings of appreciation, gratitude, connectedness, amusement, and everything else comfort me this evening, I’m so, so glad I was called outside. All this I found in a summer sunset. While I’m not going to say I didn’t not feel feelings of loneliness still, I did happen to feel a little bit more like Sean was by my side. I dreadfully wish he truly were so we could share the things we always shared together, but the small comforts like this are unfortunately the best I can do. I will always wish he were with me for moments like this and I’ll love and miss him forever.

Charcuterie, until if/when we meet again, I will try to find some comfort and joy in the things we used to share together. <3