No circumstance can take it away

Photo by Matteo Catanese on Unsplash

Today I watched the sunset, my favorite luxury—In any location and in every home, I live for that sinking sun, that color pallet on the horizon. My small moments of watching the sun set into the horizon, or to the back of mountains, into the ocean or simply watching the light change colors on the trees, each resembles my idea of intangible gold.

Sunsets take me back to memories, memories and feelings, and I’m struck with a wave of flashbacks that bring me to where I stand today. Sharing the view is nice, these small moments of golden light, they ground me in a way that I forget to do during most of my ordinary hours.

Today I thought about some of the sunsets I have witnessed throughout my life. Sometimes I shared the view with commentary from my loved ones, but the most liberating sunsets I lived alone. I shared with the lack of noise, companionship, shared with nothing but my thoughts. It may sound a bit lonely. But when I sit with myself, I connect to the view, and my undivided presence pays its respect to the light show. I had nothing to do with the beauty of the sun, the light, nor the distance. All I was responsible for was appreciating, only responsible for gifting my eyes with its majestic setting.

Sometimes life can be so loud, so unbelievably noisy, that finding quiet becomes a challenge. Most of the noise we are confronted with comes in through our eyes rather than though our ears. Sound can be muted when the focus of a moment narrows though the eyes. When the moment is dedicated to our eyes, and only our eyes, there's no need for anything else.

I used to ask my friends, and my friends would ask me, that if we could only have one of our five senses which would be the one that we could not give up. To me, seeing is the greatest gift, better than the rest. Everyone values one sense over the other, mine happens to be my sight. This in no way devalues the rest of my senses, I am just as thankful for my hearing as I am my taste, but in many occasions my eyes have saved me. I found silence in views, and I may have even driven some of my decisions based on the potential view.

Today the sunset took me to many places. It took me to Switzerland and Mexico and everywhere else I have shared this feeling. My eyes remember along with my heart, my heart screams and shouts for this—for these little moments. Moments of reflection, self-awareness, and moments of clarity. In today’s sunset I lived again in places I parted with long ago. The lives that remain quiet during my daily routine, lives I wore years ago, moments that added a grain of sand to the jar. My jar full of little grains of sand that are slowly turning into an ocean of its own. An ocean that will absorb sunsets the same as the ones witnessed in San Francisco, sunsets that melt into the ocean only to reveal the morning somewhere else.

We tell ourselves that life is what we make it, life is what we work for and invest in. But what about the life in our mind, what about the life we live in our head? This world needs just as much attention as our tangible one. We are what we think. I find peace in other places too, but no place comes close to when it is time to watch the day sink into the night. A time to dream, to dream of all the lives we once though we would be living, and to dream of the lives we want to live one day.

Investing in our dreams is the greatest investment we can pursue. If there is one place we can never move out from is our mind. Our mind holds all of the records, the feelings, the tragedies and blessings. All feelings put into perspective, a library of mistakes, and success, and happiness and opportunity. A life only possible on earth. We are slaves to the sun, we are the product of this divine planet where we have found a home, or a few homes. The sun sheds light on our lives, and gives way to opportunity. Sunsets are a reminder, a wakeup call, the sun telling us that another day has passed. One day of many we have lived, one day more of many we have yet to breathe.

Today I watched the sun set behind New York City’s One World Trade Center. I watched from my Brooklyn apartment, a sunset which I shared with eyes from all over the region. All seeing something different and ever changing. A moment that captured our attention in a time where our attention could turn on a number of different directions. But today, I stood with my neighbors, and stared to the west. A wild west show. After a day of nothing or everything, we at least had the sun to guide our eyes away from ourselves.

It was magnificent. I saw a clear sky, felt a soft breeze, and could smell the beginning of summer winds. The city is clear, crisp, clean. The absence of cars, people, and damage have brought a new light to our planet. The lack of humanity giving way to a new world, one that some have never seen. A sunset that filled the city with divinity, a light that opened my eyes again, opened a few closets in my mind that had remained closed for a while. I have been awake all day, but the setting sunset gave me the awareness I unconsciously needed to wake up from my mental nap.

I was inspired to think, and see, and pass the time without thinking of time at all. Time stopped as I awed at the view, a view that I’ve had the pleasure to watch in many different settings, and shared with many different people. My time took me to another place, hypnotized by the shades of yellow, pink, blue, purple, orange and white. My eyes filled with colors from the sky and the sun and the clouds. Colors that bring me back to life. Colors that brought me back to lives from the past, where I wore my old shoes and conversed with old friends. I relived and lived again all these moments inside.

Today I watched the sunset from my apartment in Brooklyn. I saw the city I fell in love with, and I saw all the reasons to continue loving it, I felt all the feelings this city holds over me. And as I traveled in time, I watched sunsets from the mountains and from the beach and from my old windows. Today I was reminded of all the good things I have, all the good things I have created, and I thanked my eyes for taking me back to the moments I treasure. I saw that my life was so simple, as the sun is scheduled to continue on its track each day, I am to continue on mine as well. My view today will be relived in the future alongside my other wonderful memories. One more grain of sand to my ocean of thoughts. While my eyes continue to allow my sight, time is relative.

Isabel Valencia Zuñiga
Isabel Valencia Zuñiga
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Isabel Valencia Zuñiga
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