It's a warm spring evening and I'm sitting outdoors with friends. As the sun nears the horizon, someone remarks on its beauty and we all stand up to watch. There are murmurs of "Incredible" and "Amazing." And then the cell phones and smart phones and cameras come out. Click, click, click. More murmurs of "Got it" and "Look at this."
And as I watch the sun disappear, I think how hard it is to witness something magnificent without feeling compelled to do something. To praise or describe or compare or take a photo. To enhance the moment or preserve the moment. Instead of being IN the moment, instead of just standing there, feeling dazzled and reverent and silent.
And I'm as guilty as anyone else. Although I don't take many photos, I'm forever searching for words to capture experiences—and missing the experience in the process.
It may be that there is no adequate response to a gorgeous sunset—and that is how it should be. Maybe the best we can do is resist the urge to DO something.
To honor the reality with our complete attention—and not try to write an essay about it.