Earlier, I kept lifting the curtain on the front door and peaking out to see if the sunset would be worth leaving my nice warm house and my good book. The thermometer hadn't gotten above 7 degrees all day, and wind chills put the temperature well below zero.
But there's only one time to see the final sunset of a year, so I compromised. I used Randy's boots which were inside the house and, unlike mine, not on the frigid confines of the back porch. And I drove to the corner south to watch the final moments of day transition to night ... and likewise, to begin the transition from 2017 to 2018.
I then decided to use my "sunrise tree" from a different perspective. I drove past it, did a 3-point turn and then turned my camera to the west.
I looked at the newspaper to find the time for sunrise and set the alarm for 15 minutes before that. My first shot of 2018 was similar to my final one of 2017. My sunrise tree - located to the corner south and just a bit to the east - was my "model" as the sun rose for the first time in 2018 in south central Kansas.
This morning, I again opened a book I've been reading as part of my Advent devotionals, While We Wait: Living the Questions of Advent by Mary Lou Redding.
|A shot of the tree before Christmas 2017|
We do seem in a hurry sometimes to put away Christmas. ... 'When it's over, it's over.' ... We also seem in a hurry after Christmas to box up once again our patience, our tolerance, our generosity and put them back in the attic, as if we can sustain good behavior for a few weeks but wouldn't want to risk making it a way of life. We may also put away our willingness to give a bit more, to be more forgiving, even to be more patient, as we often are during the holidays. Perhaps we even box up our desire to hope and our openness to miracles and mystery, as if the messages of the Christmas stories can't quite survive the rigors of real life the rest of the year. The Magi call us to continue our observance of Christ's coming after December is over.Thankfully, the Light of the World came. He doesn't go away when we pack away the treetop angel or try to stuff the greenery and stockings inside the plastic tub of holiday decorations for another year.
Mary Lou Redding
And I'm reminded of that truth when I view His magnificent writing on the sky - whether it's the last sunset of the year ... the first sunrise of the year ... or any time in between.
Here's hoping you see the sunrises and sunsets of life in 2018 with new eyes and new hope. Happy New Year from The County Line!