While visiting my sister in the Tampa Bay area of Florida this fall, I was introduced to the evening activity of Sunset Watching. Older and younger folk would gather together on the west side of the causeway – some with their children, some with their dogs – in order to watch the Floridian setting of the sun. Apparently, it is a nightly ritual.
That evening, the last before heading back to Michigan, we decided to participate in this community ceremony. It didn’t look promising; it looked like rain. Still, we hurried through our dinner, drove out to the causeway and hung out with the crowd that had arrived ahead of us. Everyone was there to enjoy the last few minutes of sunshine.
There was a feeling of camaraderie in the air. Strangers were chatting with each other, playing frisbee, wading in the water, and shell gathering. We could see the rain to the east, but it missed us and we got a chance to watch the sun slip down below the horizon. I loved it and the whole community atmosphere.
It later occurred to me that we used to do the same thing in Holland on Lake Michigan during the summer. People would stroll along the boardwalk toward the state park every nice evening all summer long and gather at the shore’s edge to watch the sun go down in the west.
I wonder if this same ritual happens everywhere there is western shoreline? Do coastal gatherings also happen at dawn on eastern shorelines? It’s a lovely custom and if you live near a lake or ocean that doesn’t participate in a sunset gather (or sunrise), think about starting one in your area.
The gathering crowd. You can see the rain clouds moving in. Luckily they missed us.
The couple next to us had a really sweet dog.
A good time with sis and hubby.
A great way to end a vacation!