Each day just like clockwork the sun rises and the sun sets.
Okay, technically the sun stays in the same spot and the earth just rotates around on its axis to give the appearance of setting and rising but it is nice to think of a rising and a setting sun as opposed to a spinning wildly earth whipping through the solar system.
Of course saying that the earth moved around the sun as opposed to the other way around was once cause for severe punishment as it went against the commonly held beliefs of the day.
But thanks to people like Copernicus it was finally determined that we earthlings are in fact moving through space across the solar system dragging our little buddy the moon around the sun.
There were of course the believers in a flat versus round earth as well but those theories were also debunked through science and exploration.
Despite this lack of actual rising and setting of the sun, people tend to flock around to see the beginning and end of each day.
To help make that even easier to do the weather forecast each day includes a listing of a time for both sunrise and sunset.
Of course the listing of sunrise and sunset times tend to be geared more towards farmers and people who need to know how many hours of daylight they have to tend their field, but you don’t have to be a farmer to appreciate knowing when the sunrise and sunset will occur.
Truth be told I have seen way more sunsets than sunrises over the course of my life.
If memory serves I have actually seen sunsets on three continents and a few island nations here and there.
I have nothing against sunrises per se, it is just that I am usually either asleep or in the shower when the sun is doing its morning light show each day.
Of course, there are people who are the opposite and for them I do feel their pain for rising so early to be up before the sun.
On the days when I do see a sunrise it is certainly worth seeing but I certainly wouldn’t want to make a habit of it.
Sunsets on the other end are quite a different thing and during the spring and summer months I see the sunset daily on my way home as my commute has me pointed west each evening.
Of course nothing quite compares to a sunset on the beach and during a recent week on the beaches of Manatee County, FL I was able to see many nice sunsets over the water.
And, take it from me sunsets are best observed over water if one has the option of where to view them.
I knew that there were people who enjoyed watching sunsets over water as I do and I have been on enough beaches through the years to see the people gathered, but my recent week on the water showed a sunset watching club like I had never seen before.
After spending the day battling the rays of the sun under the cover of sunscreen and umbrellas dozens upon dozens of people strolled to the waterline each night to watch the sun fall beneath the water.
Some of these sunset worshipers bore the telltale pinkness of losing that day’s battle with the sun as they ventured to the shore for the evening viewing.
Perhaps it was sunscreen that wore off, or maybe it was from no sunscreen at all but the signs of what the sun can do to unprotected skin were everywhere along the shore.
The image of the beauty of the sunset paired up with the vicious burn and scent of aloe was quite the combination. It was almost a game of sun roulette with those not yet burned taunting the sun to try and get them another day.
Despite my best efforts of remaining free of the redness of the sun I bore two small marks on my arms from the sun’s rays pushing beyond the sunscreen barrier. The burns will heal and will likely not peel but they certainly do not take away from the beauty of the sunset.
As the sun is setting the shore comes alive with various creatures of the deep coming to feed. It can also be a good time to look for seashells and also just to unwind from the day and get refreshed for the day to come.
So if you ever find yourself on a western facing beach around sunset by all means take in the show and watch the parade of people watching it along with you.
And of course if you are ever on an eastern facing beach and get the urge to watch a sunrise they are equally impressive.
And for all of those late sleepers and snooze button hitters out there who want to see a sunrise without actually getting up in the predawn hours you can always just take a video of a sunset and then play it backwards to get the full sunrise affect.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have a sunset to catch.
Copyright 2013 R. Anderson