Beautifully Bleak, Part II

One amazing thing about the Midwest are the sunrises and sunsets. They are beautiful, no matter the season. The sky is so wide and open that during a sunrise you get shade after shade of reds, pinks, and oranges, depending on the day and weather.  The Queen and I get to see sunrises regularly (we walk at 6:00 a.m.), particularly the beginning of the sunrise when all you can see is the pink and orange glow peaking over the horizon in a wide seemingly never-ending band.

The sunsets are lovely for many of the same reasons.  My favorite part of a Midwestern sunset is looking straight up or to the east. If there are clouds in the sky they appear to be glowing as if someone is shining a black light on them as they sit on an iridescent blue background.  It is something.

If I were a betting girl, I would bet that many Midwesterners never knew that their sunrises and sunsets were special.  We all know that sunrises on the East Coast and sunsets on the West Coast and Gulf of Mexico are cool because the sun appears and disappears over the ocean.

But in the Midwest you can see the sun’s tiniest sliver as soon as it starts to rise in the east over cornfields, farms houses, silos, and tree lines.  You can watch that same little sliver disappear as it descends in the west when it sets, also over cornfields, farm houses, silos, and tree lines.

In the mountains it is not the same. You can see the sun come up but it is already high above the mountain tops when it first comes into view.  In the Midwest the sun comes up and seems to be at your level, as if you could walk into it if you walked far enough. In the mountains the sphere of the sun disappears long before it actually sets because the mountains are so tall – thus the saying that in the mountains the sun goes down at “three in the day” – daylight remains but the sun itself bids an early farewell.

In the Midwest during a full moon, seeing the moon appear in the east at eye level is startling if you are not expecting it or have never seen it in that way. I was driving across an overpass in FW and saw something out of the corner of my eye and looked over and was physically taken aback at the size and location of the moon. Admittedly, I felt kind of silly but, hey, it is not like that from whence I come. Luckily, after the shock wore off I recognized the pretty when I saw it.

I regret that I have yet to take a picture of a great Midwest sunset. But God willing I will have plenty more chances to find one.

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One thought on “Beautifully Bleak, Part II

  1. We have a window in our home on SR 114, and it faces due west. We call it our “Key West” window because when the sun sets and we watch it from the big window at the kitchen sink, we realize that hundreds of happy people are gathering in Mallory Square in Key West to cheer the sunset. The other joy of that window and the sunsets is the times the sunsets are pink. My cousin died of breast cancer, and in her last days, she told her daughter and all of us that when the sunsets were pink, we would remember her. We do, and it’s a real wonderful connection.

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