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There’s something about sunsets that make me nostalgic. I’m not sure what it is about them, but give me the chance to look to the horizon as the last light of the day streaks across the landscape, and I’m entranced.

One specific sunset comes to mind… Open one of the photo albums at my parents’ house and you will find some pictures that date from the summer of 1990. It was a tumultuous year for us. Dad had to head to Colorado to work for two weeks, which was an eternity for him to be gone. Later on that summer his job situation would cause us to move from Nebraska to Texas. I was 13, had just finished seventh grade.

Several times during that two weeks that Dad was in Colorado Mom would take us out to the state park outside of town. As I see it now, she was probably just trying to keep her sanity after dealing with five kids in the house all day. But we’d go to the lake in the evening, fish, swim, and just hang out until the sun went down and it was time to go home and to bed.

One of those nights Mom brought the camera along. I don’t remember the night exactly, but the pictures she took capture the sunset-streaked moments of me and my siblings on the beach, playing in the sand and the water. There is one particularly memorable photo of my brother Aaron, the little awnry scamp, with a bucket of water cocked and ready to fling right at the camera. (The actual existence of the photo probably indicates he didn’t actually fling it in that direction at that moment.) Every time I look at those photos, the emotions kick in. Something about the sunset signifying an end, the end of my childhood years, of that season of my life.

I’m not the first person to notice that seasons change. Read Ecclesiastes sometime. There is a time for everything. Sunsets may have tinges of sadness to them – but without a sunset, there’s no chance for the sun to rise again. I don’t know when my life’s next “sunset” will come, but those pictures remind me that even as seasons change, we have hope for a new day coming.

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