The awe of a sunset

New Yorkers have been enjoying a twice a year phenomenon – a sunset that aligns with the city’s street grid system, earning it the nickname Manhattanhenge after the alignment of the solstice sun at Stonehenge. Story and pics from the BBC

We’re fascinated with sunsets. It doesn’t matter how many you’ve seen, a sunset still has the captivating power of a moment of awe. I’ve never heard someone say, “Oh no, not another boring sunset.” Perhaps it’s a western/northern hemisphere thing.

One of the activities we use at Sanctum is the Thankful box. It poses the question, “If you’ve ever felt thankful for the beauty of the world around you (amazing scenery, an awesome sunset) who or what did you want to thank?” and in it are five photos of inspiring landscapes. There’s a beach, a thunderstorm, a snowscape, mountains and… a sunset (below). I’ll sometimes ask students the question, “If you could be in one of these places right now, which would you choose?” It often leads to a great conversation about places where they’ve felt awe, wonder and the sense that ‘there must be more to life than this’. Today one girl talked eagerly about the view she has from her house, of the sunsets she sees across the fields opposite. As she described the scene she has obviously seen many many times in her 14 years there was an infectious and tangible sense of awe, of wonder.  She hasn’t yet become bored of the sunset.

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