I was never sure at which stage of life “sunset” becomes the marker of the end of day. When I was younger sunset marked the beginning of evenings. Nights out! Dates! Dances! Concerts! Parties! And then…. Some years later (a very few) sunset begins to mark the end of day.
At sunset these young people are heading out for a night on the town. The arches frame their activity and will with the Cocunut Palms wave the elderly good night and turn the evening into a glow of youthful presence. A celebration of the next generation.
The piercing beam of fading sunlight underscore the turnover. The demarcation between generations. But there is something else buried in this fading light. In a book by Thomas Hartmann, The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight, there is a lesson for every generation. The stored energy of our sun and our consumption of that stored energy as oil, coal and many other forms rages out of control. As humans we may need to see the finite supply of resources and our infinite demand as an impending crisis. Maybe sunset is more than a generational shift of time. Sunset might even be that daily reminder that we have responsibility for every generation.