Of sunsets and mankind

There’s a lot more to sunset than meets the eye. From immemorial times, mankind has watched sunsets with a  twinge of the heart and a sigh, while sunrises were left alone and generally ignored. Why is that?

As a race, we are dreamers, yet we do not know very well how to empower ourselves and make our dreams come true. We rely on hope and we pass our wishes on to faith. But when the time comes to act and think bold, we get caught up in the moment’s difficulties and lose sight of the big picture.

That’s why sunrise has always been relatively unseen. By the time the sun rises, we are busy stressing out about the day that lays ahead, focusing on immediate goals that speak more of survival than greatness. Sunrise, for many, has become a symbol of labour, heat, struggle and harsh reality. It is a time of day at which we must painfully awaken, attempting to chase a night’s dreams away by drowning them in coffee and diluting them with the brutality of a newspaper. It’s time to perform and to act. It’s time to long for the next sunset.

At night, on the other hand, when the blazing sun finally dips under the horizon, all that suffering is momentarily left behind. We can relax. The colours last longer than in the morning as if the sky knew that time has finally lost its cost and the pace of our lives can slow down and soften. Whatever our performance of the day, it is over now and it will not matter again until dawn. What is done is done, what is said is said, what is missing can still be found in the new dreams of the falling night. Hope or despair can invade the heart, and sunset will make these emotions stronger and more real than the sunrise ever could, because souls are left with nothing to do but ponder.

Sunset is a time to evaluate, a pause in the race, a break in the routine. And as Christopher Columbus said of the ocean, it will bring each man news hopes, as sleep brings dreams of home.