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Taking Note: Sunset reflections

The clock didn’t even read 5 p.m. yet, but the sun was already sinking, hanging low above the horizon.

When I looked straight ahead, the sky was already a deep, dusky blue. But as I turned to peer through my rearview mirror, I could see the rainbow of sunset hues lighting up the sky, a final dance of color to conclude the day.

Through the driver’s side mirror, I could even see the mixture of purples, blues, oranges, yellows and reds setting the shiny surface of my car door aglow with color.

The sunset reflection on the door was almost as beautiful as looking at the real thing. It erased the blank black painted metal and replaced it with a rainbow of changing colors.

I wouldn’t have noticed this if I hadn’t happened to be parked near the lake on a windy day with a dwindling phone battery. I was resisting the urge to take photos, knowing I shouldn’t completely drain the charge on my phone.

I had wanted to park facing the lake to take in the view of the sunset more fully. I had wanted to take pictures. I had wanted to document the moment.

However, those small wishes just hadn’t been possible to fulfill.

And I was strangely glad they hadn’t been fulfilled.

I was delighted at the odd way I was able to observe the sunset, through mirrors and metallic reflections. The moment was without the distraction of snapping endless sunset photos that rarely seem to do the real thing justice.

It was one of those beautiful little moments that can come out of a seemingly non-ideal situation.

And it reminded me how often we can let the good little things pass us by because we’re overly concerned with what we had expected, what we had hoped, what we had planned.

It can be hard to just enjoy the moment, to put down the phone or camera, to overcome worry and fear, to find moments for peaceful solitude and reflection.

But at that moment, I found it in that rainbow sunset reflection in the mirror and the car door.

It seemed to serve as an example of the beauty that sometimes we only notice in retrospect, the things that pass by so quickly that we don’t stop and appreciate them.

And when we stop and look around ourselves, we can find things of beauty and importance.

We can see things we wouldn’t have noticed if we hadn’t taken the time to quietly consider our surroundings.

And although I’m looking forward to seeing 2020 in my figurative rearview mirror, there have been moments of beauty, joy and hope amid a dark and challenging year.

This darkness illuminated the bright spots, things that may have blended in and passed unnoticed, unappreciated in previous years, in simpler times.

It highlighted all the moments of joy that may have been taken for granted in the past.

It emphasized the beauty of what we have been able to hold on to.

It showed how important it is to cherish and honor the relationships, opportunities and surroundings that we value.

And there are so many things we can to do to honor and cherish the relationships, opportunities and surroundings that remain with us.

We can listen to and connect with our loved ones more often and more deeply.

We can get back to creative endeavors that may have been stalled or even embark on a bold new project.

We can read the books that we’ve always meant to read, all the worlds of words that have been patiently awaiting us.

We can make our homes better places to inhabit, whether it’s through cleaning, decorating, reorganizing, rearranging furniture or even embarking on a renovation.

We can pause to enjoy the beauty of the natural world by taking a hike, watching a sunset, or even just stopping to take in our surroundings, wherever we are.

And when we do any one of these things, we can honor and illuminate the beauty that still remains.

Because when we reflect on these moments, we’ll find they cast a rosy glow upon a dark year, just as that sunset transformed a black car door into a rainbow of colors.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cecilia Brown is city editor at The Mining Journal. She lives in Marquette and can be found hiking if the weather’s nice, or curled up with a book if not. Contact her at cbrown@miningjournal.net.

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