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Sunsets have been incredible lately. Thought I’d mix it up a bit. Four of them are from today and from home, a few of them are from Pullman. I seem to have been looking to the sky more and more lately, and I’m not sure what that’s about…
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The Sky

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I don’t want to say that I’m fascinated by its immensity or by the many colors that weave in and out at different times of the day. But I am. During the summer, I’m up before the sun. Often driving to work as it starts to peak over the mountains to the east. The quietness of the morning is made more beautiful by the pinks, purples, and oranges found in the sky. The clouds, stretched thin, begin to mix with the pale blue of the sky.

Many find it hard to see the clouds move. I don’t. I remember the first time I noticed a big, puffy cloud moving quickly across a pale blue sky. This moment was unexpected—something I had never thought of before. How long before someone else sees the same cloud? Out the window ever-darkening clouds loom over the hills. Morphing from gray to the deepest shades of blue. I watch them form. Watched them appear. A process that in itself is both slow and fast. I look away only to look back again and see the gap is closing. Steadily. I think they’re racing. Trying to see which one can reach the exact spot in the sky above me first. Sure, they’re just clouds. But weren’t we taught when we were little to look for shapes in the clouds? A dinosaur here, a car there. Not the darkness steadily overtaking us.

It’s easy to lose oneself in something that is so much greater than we are. I often find in the sky what I need at that moment. Maybe that explains my fascination. Maybe not. The sky is there to calm me. To help me see new things. The sky is consistent. It’s always there. Even the minimal light put off by the moon and the stars is enough to help me find my way. To reflect. A night with no stars and no moons, though completely dark, is still navigable.

Sunsets are my favorite part of the day. My friends make fun of me because I’m always taking pictures. But no two sunsets are the same. Even in the seconds between when my finger hits the button, the sun can descend completely below the horizon. Seemingly lost in space and time. Leaving behind a trail of clouds similar to those of the morning, fading into the blue backdrop. These fleeting moments take with them bits good and bad moments. Moments that may define us. Moments that may define the sunset.

There are scientific explanations about why clouds move, why the sun rises and sets each day, about what the atmosphere is for. Is the sky really blue? Or is it just a reflection? While these questions can be answered, they matter very little to me. What does matter is how I perceive the sky, and that I continue to look to it for hope, reassurance, and whatever it is that I may need in that moment.

as the sun sets in the distance

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This picture of the Columbia River was my inspiration for this poem.










as the sun sets in the distance

the clouds above it lose their form

the purples and pinks absorbed from the sun

spread and seep into the pale blue sky


a river

calm and vast

stands between me and the hills

of which the sun is setting

creating a blurry

mirror like

reflection of the scene above


all is dark

save for the colors of the sun

I hold onto this moment

wishing it could stay forever

knowing that at any moment it could be gone


at last the sun is no longer visible

it has taken with it those colors

that had so held my attention


a moment

so precious and small

has been replaced by the night