Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hot Chocolate Sunset

Diseases can be grim things.  People can suffer from a multitude of horrible symptoms and conditions without a clue as to where the malady came from.  My mother was one of these sufferers.  In her late 60's she ended up with what was loosely called palsy.  Her palsy took the form of Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease).  It's progressive.  It's ugly.

As the disease worsened my mom lost more and more body functions, but not her keen interest in the world nor in rooting out fun.   On one of her Whidbey visits we all decided to chase the sunset. We set out from Langley, pulling over to the road's edge whenever we glimpsed a good view, then racing  on to catch the sun setting again and again. We did this all the way up the island when we finally lost the sun entirely behind the Olympics, just south of Oak Harbor.

The lesson, "take the bull by the horns" and live life.  My mom died of this horrible disease, but never lost her love of sunsets.   She definitely taught us to live the sunset-of-the-moment.

Recently Ed and I were setting up camp on the Oregon Coast just as the sun was beginning to set.  We looked at one another, knowingly.  We put on the kettle. 

With cups of hot chocolate in hand, we rushed out of the trees to the open bluff looking out over the Pacific Ocean, to catch the show  -- a lovely constrained sort of show but our world glowed.   Hot chocolate and the spontaneity of the moment turned our cheeks pink, or was it the sunset? 


"For me optimism is two lovers walking into the sunset arm in arm.  Or maybe into the sunrise -- whatever appeals to you."

~ Krzysztof Kieslowski

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