As we watched a golden sun slip beneath the horizon of glistening Gulf waters, there was a moving moment of silence, the sense of something special, followed by a wonderful round of applause and smiles of joy!
I had never been to Naples before my first Gulf sunset, a memorable end to a day spent with new friends, sightseeing and a late picnic on the beach.
My previous trips to Florida had all been to the East Coast, and as fond as those memories are, I was hooked after my first experience of the setting sun here.
Are you taking time for an occasional sunset? Life can be so busy, and for some Naples’ residents, a sunset is a very distant memory. Work, volunteering, shopping, chores, socializing, exercise and other activities take up every second of the day. Besides, after the sun goes down, there’s nothing left to do but go home.
“There’s no way,” you’re saying to yourself about right now, “I have the time or inclination for a sunset.”
Please take time for a sunset. It’s one of the beautiful gifts we’ve been given in Naples and the area. Setting aside some time for this special event bestows upon us gifts only it can give. One gift is taking a moment to sit down and embrace the twilight of a day, and whether we’re saying “Thank God, it’s over” or “I wish this day would never end,” we experience a very human reality — there are endings in life.
Each sunset is unique. The sky may be clear or cloudy, golden or red, have soaring birds and calm waters, a cool or warm breeze, a time to renew love or seeing the green flash. The beauty of the tapestry that is a sunset opens our souls to an affirming grace in our world — there’s a panorama of treasure each day offers.
Sunsets also beckon restoration. Night will be fast approaching, the moon and stars bright in the sky, with some television, reading or conversation over a nice meal. The sounds of evening, some soft or loud, will ultimately beckon the endearing silence of sleep. We were created for rest and renewal in the hopes of a better tomorrow.
You’re invited to continue this reflection at a special sunset on Sunday at 4 p.m. by the Naples Pier. Jamie Treadwell, an urban monk and visiting artist from England, will be painting the Naples sunset and inviting conversation. Jamie shares: “Paintings are a language of communication, so my engagement with the community is an important part of the painting process. My images are influenced by the insights and stories of the people as well as by the colors of the sunset.”
He asks: “How can paintings inspired by the Naples sunset serve as a metaphor for eternity?”
I hope you take the time to help us answer that question.
Please go to www.stjohnsnaples.com for more information.