Ode to Sun Ups and Downs


A Well-Worn PathMaybe it’s because without mountains in the way we don’t have to look up to see the sky, but here in the Flint Hills of Kansas when we talk about our sunsets or sunrises we frequently begin waxing poetic. Maybe that’s more a country thing than one specific to Kansas. Maybe because we live close to the land and the seasons we are more apt to take notice of the sun ups and downs.

Of course, the sun makes no decision to shine or set more beautifully in one location over another. The science behind sunrises and sunsets is the same everywhere. With little regard for landscape, the earth rotates, creating the illusion that the sun comes up and goes down. So what makes these sunrises and sunsets so special? Well, it may be a case of beauty being in the eye, or the heart, of the beholder. If you have ever been stopped in place by the awe of a particularly stunning sunrise or sunset, you know that they often evoke an emotional response from the people viewing them.

Each sunrise and sunset reflects our human understanding of the comings and goings of our days, and this visual splendor is inseparable from our inner emotional dialogue. Sunrises and sunsets mark the ever-cyclical beginning and ending of night to day and day to night. They are the transitions by which we measure our time here.

Stand and watch the sun slowly dip below the horizon line and you can’t help but feel a sense of reflection, possibly even longing, for the day just past. Do the same as the sun rises again in the east at the beginning of a new day, and you might feel excited expectation or promise in what lies ahead.

Kansas sunset 

On the Great Plains of Kansas, as well as other places that allow for a long view, sunrises and sunsets are more than supporting players to our unique and expansive landscape. They are the entire show. Like summer storms moving in from the southwest or winter chills blowing down from the north, we watch and we pay close attention because living on the land we often feel more exposed and more personally affected by the power, as well as the beauty, of nature.

2/12/2015 9:03:49 AM

Lou Ann, I can definitely see that you love where you live. I too love where I live. People here talk more about the weather than practically any other topic. Every day brings a new day of weather. As with Kansas, Nebraska can be below zero in the Winter and above 100 in the summer days. The range of different kinds of weather covers almost every kind except for hurricanes but even then we can get micro burst straight line winds that rival hurricane force winds. My love for Nebraska stems from the distinct seasons here. Each season is about three months give or take depending on the year. I moved away once for 7 years. When I came back, I made a promise to myself never to move away again. ***** Have a great Kansas sunrise/sunset day.

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