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by Marcy Lytle
MARRIAGE - apr 2024 - after 40 years - sunsets2.jpg

We don’t travel to the beach, often.  Partly, it’s because our beaches in Texas are several hours away and less than beautiful (comparatively speaking).  But it’s also because we enjoy other types of destinations over beaches.  Oh, we went to the beach a lot when the kids were small, but beach time as a couple since the kids have grown and gone has been minimal.

However, we recently spent a vacation in Florida which, of course, included several evenings by the water.  One particular evening, we opted to stop in St Petersburg to watch the sunset, because we’d heard it was awesome there.  We had no chairs, weren’t really dressed for the beach (it was chilly, anyway), but we set out on the sand.  We were told there were chairs at a booth for free, so we got a couple and we plopped down at the end of a fun day.

There it was, the sun. 


And there all the people were, gathered in little groups – couples, families, and friends – to watch the sun go down.  I sat there wrapped up in a sweater and a scarf, and he sat next to me, and we held hands.  We both walked along the water and dipped our fingers in to see how cold the water was.  And I let the sand run through my fingers as little shells popped up.  I lined them up on the arm of my chair and really marveled at the differences and similarities.

My husband and I are SO different, just like those shells…in the way we look, the way we think, the way we operate, the way we learn and in so many areas.  But on that night, we had the same view from our two chairs we sat beside each other.  Sure, there were people to observe, little children’s voices to hear as they squealed and threw up sand, and the din of folks dining behind us on a huge patio at a restaurant.  But every single person was facing the sun as it began falling…

All of our differences were way in the background, any little frustrations we’d had in the day, arguments while I navigated and he drove, and even the scare of when we left his phone behind earlier that moment (which we found, miraculously, by the way!)  Those all faded away, as we gazed at the sun as it was setting.  It seemed so slow at first, then just before it dipped below the horizon, it sped up it seemed…and then it was gone!  And the photo I took made us both gasp.

We hadn’t seen that little tornado shaped cloud until we snapped the photo.  How strange and wonderful.  We hadn’t realized we needed the pause to gaze in one direction as we sat close and held hands.  We were thrilled that the couple next to us offered to take our picture, and we did the same for them.

That sunset was a needed respite from a long day, as it set across the ocean.  We don’t have that visual back at home, but there are other “sunsets” to behold at home.  The end of the day is one of my faves, as we lay in bed together holding hands, my leg across his, as we read together from the Psalms.  When he turns on the ceiling fan, and I share something I saw on Instagram, or we both give thanks for an answered prayer (and we had many on that trip.)

The end of a day; whether there’s a sunset to see or not, it magical to me.  And we can miss it so quickly if we turn away, get lost in our surroundings, or fail to look in one direction…as the sun goes down.


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