With each dwindling sunset, I am overly aware of the bittersweet end


One of the couple of sunsets I discussed in this column

Yesterday, as I was driving home, I caught the ending glimpse of the sunset. Although that usually wouldn’t strike me as odd, the sky had been dark just moments earlier as I walked out of the building.

Though, because of one turn and a certain angle, I caught the in-between of day and night for a split second. 

Last Friday, on my way to a basketball game, the midst of a sunset blurred my vision. Again, it wasn’t a rare sight; the sun sets every night, but it had brought to my attention that the dreariness of winter has prevented me from basking in its beauty.

Because of dark clouds and early ending days, I hadn’t seen a natural and pure sunset in ages. It was relieving. It meant spring was near and maybe even summer.

Until my mind drifted, though the sunset is a message from above sending me signs from my favorite seasons, it also meant a season of my life was nearing the end.

One last spring. One last summer. The same sunset.

For the past four or so years of my life, the sight of a sunset on a cold February night showed me that a break was near. A break where days felt endless and the sun bathed me with its comforting rays just for it to all end and resume in another season a couple of short months later, with the same people, in the same place. Something I’ve adjusted quite nicely to.

Now, the sunsets I’m viewing beckon me to the future filled with many finales and goodbyes; no more returning to a familiar routine I’ve adapted to. As the days grow longer, my time here nears an end.

A year from now, I will be witnessing the sunset somewhere else. Whether it’s while walking home from class or through the window of a dorm, my world as I know it will be completely altered.

Even just three months from now, there will be a sunset to show me the conclusion of the coming-of-age movie I’ve loitered in for the past four years as I walk across the stage. But as the sunrises just hours later, a new film will begin.

One last spring. One last summer. The same sunset.

In the fall, there will be a new routine I have adapted to. One where I have new people to watch the sunset with, and I won’t even remember the emotions I feel at this exact moment, at least not for another four years.

When I was fifteen, all I wanted was to leave. 

When I was sixteen, the future seemed so far away. 

Now, I’m seventeen, and the world seems so cruel for making me move on from all I’ve ever known. 

But, when I’m eighteen, the sunsets won’t feel so monumental. The sunset won’t define the conclusion of my story. I’ll live a different life with the same sunset.

Although tears caress my cheeks as I write these words, each drop is soaked with admiration for the life I’ve lived this far.

But, for the next three months, with each dwindling sunset I see, I will be aware of the bittersweet end approaching.