By Evan Upchurch
I distinctly recall my first day in Costa Rica: my feet gently reached the sand that ran eloquently through my toes. Ocean waves crashed before my eyes, producing a sound that, in an instant, took the weight off of my shoulders. The unforgettable gentle breeze blew through my hair and caressed my face. Yet it was the sunset that triggered a certain emotional tie with my newfound lifestyle. The brilliant palette of colors showcased the possibilities of letting go and starting anew in Costa Rica.
After 10 months of calling paradise home, sunsets are a part of my weekly routine. Why? It is just the end of another day involving particles and sun rays. Yet I discovered the sunset brings you and others together in five principal ways.
1. You come together as a person connecting with the present moment. Most days, the present moment somehow gets lost in the shuffle. Taking time out to watch the sunset connects you with the now, and ultimately yourself. The day’s thoughts of past and future set slowly with the portrait of beauty. Watching the sun set on the horizon affirms that all we have is this instant in time that is to be celebrated and cherished.
2. You come together with others. Being connected in the present moment and with yourself at heart brings you closer to the people around you, whether it be family, friends or strangers on the beach. At that point in time, you are all sharing the landscape of the sky and the countdown of the day. A commonality exists for those who choose to end their day in beauty and awe.
3. You come together with nature and appreciate what it has to offer. The peaceful time of day during sunset can allow you to take a step closer to noticing the smallest of bugs on a tree or the largest of whales in the bay. With the moments you take to be grateful for the sunset, you are growing closer to nature and embracing the world at a standstill. The rich blues and brilliant oranges mix to create a natural phenomenon impossible to ignore.
4. You come together with time. The sunset informs you another day is ending and turning into memories. You can become so entirely synchronized that you can predict the nanosecond the sun falls into the sea. Once it’s gone, the final minutes of the day lead us toward the onset of night and tomorrow’s mysteries.
5. You come together with inspiration. The conclusion of one event transpires into the genesis of another. Inspiration from the sunset comes our way through the array of colors, the Earth’s revolution and the hidden significance of the day’s closure. We are inspired to know that the greatest stories have not been told, the most beautiful songs have not been sung, and the noblest acts have not been performed.
Costa Rica affords us this opportunity to impress a sense of beauty and timelessness. You are in the midst of brilliant colors. Don’t forget to open your eyes.
Evan Upchurch, 15, is a ninth-grader at La Paz Community School in Flamingo, on the northern Pacific coast. She moved here with her family from Wimberly, Texas, last year. She has a passion for reading, writing and journalism.