Every once in a while something comes along to re-align or change our perspective. We appreciate a work of art, some music, or piece of writing which inspires us to a place we may not have visited of our own accord. It can be spiritual, joyful, serene, or meditative yet we are afforded an opportunity to see the world differently than moments before.

We all appreciate a beautiful sunset and I’m certainly one to stop and gaze each evening. As a bit of a photographer I tend to photograph more than my share of nature, people, places, artsy-fartsy stuff, and of course sunsets.

My benchmark for all sunsets occurred in San Felipe Mexico on the Gulf of California in 1994. To this day that sunset is the only one I’ve ever seen which covered the entire dome of the sky. As we’ve all noticed there are often some clouds present with beautiful sunsets. Yet the clouds which create these lovely sunsets usually block light from most of the sky. We watch and photograph the narrow space or section where all those beautiful shapes, colors, and light are dancing.

What made that sunset in Mexico so amazing? It was the thin mid-level alto cumulus cloud layer which patterned three quarters of the sky that evening, yet still allowed the full light of the fading sun to flood across the entire sky. Mirrored off the glass calm waters of the gulf that evening, there was so much green light bouncing off the clouds and water that it seemed other worldly. Only once or twice since then have I seen slight hints of green light within sunsets at all. This one covered the entire sky! Although colors can now be ‘tuned’ with digital photography to match reality, the scope of bigger sunsets can only be experienced in person.

Through time I’ve ended up with a nebulous top ten list of sunsets. It’s comprised mostly of sunsets on one Hawaiian island or another, a few viewed from 35,000 feet while flying, or particularly dramatic plays of light attached to landscapes or special times with friends. This past week’s Sunday sunset in Seattle nudged up into my top ten list by virtue of the full rainbow in the opposite sky at the same time. While light and colors consumed nearly half the sky facing the rainbow, I felt wistful as I realized that no photograph could represent the dual experience. I wanted so many people to be able to see what I was seeing in the moment. Such visions defy photography.

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When something comes along which simply overwhelms our usual perceptions we are reminded of the vastness of our human experience. We are reminded of similar moments in our lives where events or experiences have taken us places we do not travel with particular intention. Sometimes spiritual, these inspirational moments are beacons along the way in our journey. They allow us to pull back for a brief time and see the beauty of our bigger picture. Makes me think “Thank goodness for the journey!” and wonder what your top sunset was like, wishing I too could have somehow experienced it.

Tony Pellicane

Hi, I’m Tony. I started with Verity in July of 2013, working with CUHMS in the Servicing Department as the Mortgage Servicing Supervisor. I spend much of my free time competing in flying disc sports, mostly freestyle Frisbee these days. I’ve traveled all over the world and most enjoy traveling to anyplace I’ve never been before (of course there are spectacular exceptions). I enjoy photography, art, dance, science, nature, and flying of any sort. Before moving to Seattle a year ago, I lived in San Diego; before that was Miami, with a stop in Gainesville, Florida on the way to San Diego. I became a huge Seahawk fan in 2009 after being a Dolphin fan from the glory days. I fell in love with the astoundingly beautiful country in the Northwest while visiting friends and practicing freestyle over the past few years and finally decided to move in 2010. Now having lived in three of the four corners of the US, I plan on retiring in Maine years from now. Hope you enjoy the writing.

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