The Sunset Ritual

by Gray Cargill on May 28, 2014

Waikiki Sunset

There’s a ritual that happens every evening in Waikiki. When the sun begins to set, everything seems to slow down. People move outside. They gravitate to the beach, or a deck with a view. They pad through the shifting sand to the water’s edge or the end of a pier, watching and waiting for the sun to put on its nightly show. All the activity of the entire day has been building to this moment.

The sun is about to paint the sky.

Pier at Sunset

Pier at Sunset

Children continue to splash in the shallow waves, oblivious, while adults stand mesmerized by the setting of the sun, as if the sunset were an eclipse or a comet or some other event that doesn’t happen every single day of our lives. In a way, it is. So many of us don’t have time in our busy days to stop and enjoy such a simple thing as the beauty of a sunset.

Waikiki Sunset

Could you take your eyes off this?

Or perhaps we’re simply in the wrong place at the wrong time at sunset most days–surrounded by skyscrapers or trees or four walls without windows. Maybe it’s just that most of us don’t live next to a beautiful ocean facing west.

I loved this nightly ritual. This is what vacation–if not life–should always be like. Not as busy as our everyday lives, not the constant rushing around from one task to another, but slowing down to see–to really see and absorb–the beauty in the world around us.

Waikiki Sunset

Going, going……

If travel does nothing else, its unfamiliar landscapes reminds us to see things through different eyes. At home, we all have our routines and our familiar surroundings that, after awhile, we don’t notice any more because they’re always there. Being “away” reminds us that there are other ways to spend our days, that life doesn’t always have to be fast-paced, and that sunsets are precious things to stop and savor.

When was the last time you stopped what you were doing to watch the sun set? If you can’t remember, then it’s time you did it again.

Waikiki Sunset

End of day

Milena Yordanova August 1, 2014 at 7:59 am

Beautiful photos! The sea sunsets are an absolute delight to view. We all have to pay attention to these amazing little moments in our lives.

Gray Cargill August 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm

If only we all did more often, Milena.

Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren May 31, 2014 at 2:19 am

I love a good sunset! These photos are beautiful. I need to take advantage of where I live a bit more (Southern California) and appreciate a sunset every now and then… not just when I’m traveling 🙂

Happy travels!

Gray Cargill May 31, 2014 at 7:12 am

Oh yeah, Lauren, I should think southern California has some great sunsets!

Andi May 29, 2014 at 7:47 am

Loved this post! I’m such a huge fan of sunsets. 🙂

Gray Cargill May 31, 2014 at 7:13 am

Thanks, Andi!

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