Monday, October 15, 2012

Slipping Away

One evening, with my camera in hand, I stepped out onto the balcony of the condo where we (my husband and I, along with two of our grandsons) were spending a week at the beach.

“I almost missed the sunset,” I said to my husband when he joined me a minute or so later.
Sure enough, the sun, looking like a huge, orange, beach ball, seemed only a few inches about the horizon line. I worked quickly to try to capture a really good picture of the scene. I changed settings on my camera, selected different focus points, zoomed in and out with my lens, placed the sun in various places within the viewfinder’s frame, and moved to different places along the narrow balcony, hoping all the while to make a photo that would capture at least a little bit of the grandeur my eyes were seeing. 

In less than six minutes after I’d stepped onto the balcony, the sun had slipped below the horizon, seeming to have disappeared in the blue-gray waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It appeared to have submerged into the depths of the ocean, never to return.

As I reflected on that, I thought about how so many things in life seem to slip away so quickly, just like the setting sun. Although the sun had been visible since early morn, it had slowly been making its way toward the horizon line. No one paid much attention to its progress, due to being involved with activities of the day: traveling, working, shopping, swimming, shelling, etc. Perhaps a relatively low percentage of folks paid any attention to the setting of the sun, since that wonder takes place each day. But I did.

As I watched the changes brought about by the setting of the sun, I thought about recent things that had slipped away: A friend’s dad had slipped into eternity last Tuesday. That day had been coming ever nearer for 96 years. But on Tuesday, he slipped away from this life. Another example: a friend  fell in the pasture while she was taking care of her horses and broke her back. Her busy life slipped away, at least temporarily. Whether our blessings disappear ever so gradually or in the blink of an eye, they do slip away. Loved ones. Good health. Jobs. Finances. Opportunities. Abilities….

Therefore, let’s cherish the abundant blessings we have each day, always aware that they, like the setting sun, are slipping away. Some, unlike the sun, won’t return.  

(c) 2012 by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill. To request permission to use, please send an e-mail to

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