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Clap for a Sunset

Why the Guideposts executive editor is grateful for sunsets.

Last night we ate dinner outside for the first time this summer. As we watched the sun sink towards the palisades across the river, the brightest tint of gold touching the bottoms of the clouds, Timothy said, “I think I saw some cartoon where everybody claps for a sunset.” 

“Sort of like clapping for fireworks,” I said.   

“But sunsets happen everyday,” Tim said.  

We ate our fresh green bean salad and Carol’s risotto, staring at the sky. It was a subtler work of art than the Fourth of July fireworks but no less magnificent. Actually more so because it spread across the whole sky and everywhere we looked the colors kept changing. The fiery globe disappeared from view and like a star who has introduced a tune, the clouds took up the song and riffed on it in their own sky-hogging way. They went from bronze to copper to an impossible purple. By the time you noticed something in one corner there’d be something equally enchanting in another. 

“Is this when we clap?” I wondered. It wasn’t like the fireworks. You knew when they were over. 

“I guess so,” Timothy said and the three of us gave a quiet round of applause that didn’t sound like much in the patio beside the willow tree. But even then when the clouds turned gray and the color drained from the sky, the water in the river was a brilliant deep blue and the trees were silhouettes. What a beautiful night.   

“I don’t think it matters when you clap,” I decided. God’s creation was a long-running show with thousands of new acts to applaud. Thankfulness would work any hour of the day. Still God must like it when we notice his especially florid numbers. 

Ever clap for a sunset?

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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